Although the word doula has it origins in ancient Greece [δούλη (doulē)] depicting a household servant or slave of high ranking who assisted women in labor, the idea of servant or slave is antiquated and does not reflect the true profession of a modern doula. The modern doula is a woman who “Mothers the Mother” by offering emotional and physical support, enabling her to have an empowering, gratifying experience for her and her family.
- A doula knows that each mother’s pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is special and unique.
- She is educated in the physiological and emotional processes of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum
- She supports the mother and family, making sure that they are prepared mentally and physically.
- She is an attendant to the mother, offering emotional, and physical support.
- She is an educator, offering resources so parents can inform themselves in making the best decisions for their families.
- She holds sacred space for the mother and her family.
- Doulas are trained in privacy, ethics and confidentiality, so parents can be assured that their story is protected and held sacred.
*Definition based on the description of a doula as taught by the Birth Arts International doula training program.