Usually, when I tell people that I’m a doula I get two questions. The first: How do you spell that? And the second: Isn’t that like a midwife?
The concept of doula, at least in the way I use it, is relatively new. The word itself comes from ancient Greek, meaning “helper” or “woman slave,” but it’s been adopted in the last 40 or so years to refer to someone who provides support to women during pregnancy and childbirth. The support a doula provides ranges from emotional cheerleading to massages and acupressure to aromatherapy and meditation. It runs a wide gamut of all things non-pharmacological, a unique service for women giving birth mostly in hospitals. Keep reading »