A doula (from ancient Greek meaning “handmaiden”) is a trained, professional support-person
who assists a woman during pregnancy and birth. A Doula views birth as one of the most
important experiences in a woman’s life, and knows the importance of creating positive birth
memories. She understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in
labour, and assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for
birth. The Doula stays by the side of the labouring woman throughout the entire labour, never
leaving her. She provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective
viewpoint, and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good
decisions. The Doula facilitates good communication between the labouring woman, her
partner, and clinical caregivers; and perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the
woman's memory of her birth experience.
Research done with thousands of women shows that the presence of a Doula (regardless of
whether there is another support person there or not):
Shasta is a barefoot child of the Earth, a tree-climbing goddess. Like most Scorpios, she’s swept through life by the swirling river of transformation, sometimes kicking and screaming, often almost drowning, but along the way beginning to get the hang of flowing with the currents.