A doula is an individual who offfers one-on-one support for a woman in labor. The word doula comes from the ancient Greek, meaning “woman’s servant or slave”. Doulas are also sometimes referred to as labor assistants or birth coaches.
Doulas provide continuous care for laboring women and their partners, and help them participate fully in the birth experience by offering physical and emotional support and information about the birth process, available medical technology and natural alternatives.
An ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators-www.alace.org) Certified Doula is a professional care provider who understands and trusts the process of birth, respects its transcendent and sacred aspects as well as its physical and emotional aspects, and facilitates the birth experience for parents, baby and primary care providers.