Pronounced [doo-luh].  Doula is Greek for "woman who serves". 

A doula does serve.  She serves a laboring woman. 

How does a doula serve a laboring woman?  A doula may do the following things:

Rub the mamas feet.
Massage her back.
Gently remind her to breathe.
Gets a nurse when needed.
Requests extra pillows or blankets for mama.
Asks questions of the medical attendants - where a mama might be too anxious, nervous or intimidated to do so.
Let's the mama know it's okay to scream, cry, shout, or laugh if she needs to.
Validates whatever the mama is feeling.
Helps the mama have to have a voice in the birth of her child.

There are so many mothers out there who wish they could have done things a little differently.  Some wish they would have known the effects of Demerol.  Others wish they could have known about the effects of Pitocin.  Some wish they knew it was okay and normal to grunt or moan while in pain.  Others wished they could have had someone there while their husband went to go get coffee. 

Each birth is different, just as each woman is different.  Having a doula insures that you will have someone there at all times.  Someone who is just there for your needs.  

***A doula does NOT perform any medical tasks such as vaginal exams, blood pressure, checking fetal heartbeat, etc.  A doula will not check your temperature or help to deliver your baby. 

A doula is there to provide emotional, physical and informational support for the laboring woman.