Definition of doula in English:

doula

noun

  • 1A woman, typically without formal obstetric training, who is employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labour.

    ‘from admission through delivery, a doula stayed at her assigned patient's side’
    • ‘Other choices, such as labor support and doulas, nonpharmacologic pain-relief methods, and pharmacologic pain-relief methods other than intravenous narcotics or epidurals, should be available.’
    • ‘A recent large RCT demonstrated that providing continuous labor support with nurses instead of doulas had no effect on cesarean delivery rates or other birth outcomes.’
    • ‘The doula attends the birth which can take place in the hospital or at home with a midwife, making both parents feel relaxed and providing physical comfort and emotional support.’
    • ‘Your hospital or birth center might provide a doula, or you can hire one while you are pregnant.’
    • ‘Because most births continue to take place in hospitals and because mothers and fathers need support and guidance, the hospital setting is where doulas provide labor support most of the time.’
    • ‘We also should be aware of alternative sources of support personnel, such as local doulas or training programs for medical students or midwives.’
    • ‘Hospitals now have birthing rooms with hot tubs and dim lights and accept the help of doulas to support the mother in having her ideal birth plan.’
    • ‘A birth doula can be booked to support you during labour and immediately afterwards, see Families South West Magazine June 2002 issue or our feature on doulas for more.’
    • ‘Most doulas are knowledgeable about resources such as lactation consultants and support groups.’
    • ‘Experienced doulas charge between $50 and $900 per birth, depending on experience, geographic area, demand, patient's needs, traveling time, and sliding scale.’
    • ‘A doula is a trained labor coach who provides support throughout labor and delivery.’
    • ‘Recent studies show women supported by doulas have shorter labours and lower rates of caesarean section deliveries.’
    • ‘Yes, there are support groups, doulas, and many other compensatory measures emerging.’
    • ‘I did not take anything for the pain during my labors, but I was very fortunate to have a wonderful doula and husband who supported me throughout.’
    • ‘Find experienced midwives and doulas and save the hospital births for those women who truly need them.’
    • ‘Stories are organized according to attending caregivers: physicians, midwives, and doulas, with the last chapter dedicated to unassisted births.’
    • ‘I am a certified Bradley instructor and a certified doula with Doulas of North America.’
    • ‘A doula stays with the mother during her labor and helps the mother and her partner to be comfortable.’
    • ‘Organize your local midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, and any other advocates of natural childbirth in your community into a birth network.’
    • ‘Its website provides interview questions to ask a prospective midwife or doctor, and tips on hiring a doula and choosing an appropriate birth setting.’
    1. 1.1A woman employed to provide guidance and support to the mother of a newborn baby.
      ‘my mother-in-law hired a postpartum doula to help me for a couple of weeks’

Origin

1960s modern Greek, from Greek doulē ‘female slave’.

Pronunciation

doula

/ˈduːlə/