A woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.
- 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.
1960s: modern Greek, from Greek doulē 'female slave'.
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