The word doula comes from the ancient greek and means “woman’s slave” or “woman’s servant.” Historically, a woman or a team of women, would often support a woman during childbirth by caring for her and encouraging her during labor. Modern day doulas do just that, they will support a birthing woman by giving her emotional, physical, informational and mental support during both pregnancy and birth.
A doula will also help the birthing woman’s partner become a more integral part of the birth if she and he wishes- and can also help a pregnant woman navigate “the pregnancy and childbirth world” by empowering her to understand and think through all of her birthing options.
Doulas are a non-medical addition to an expecting mother’s birth team, one that encourages and empowers mom and dad to make choices that will help them to be the most amazing parents they can be.
Why Hire a Doula?
Our ancestors lived close to one another their whole lives, and they helped each other with their kids. Mothers, and grandparents would teach their children how to cook, perhaps garden or make soap or anything necessary for daily life. Childbirth was a part of life that one would learn about when they were very young.
A young women would often be part of supporting an expectant mother in childbirth, possibly even supporting even her own mother. In our world today, things are very different: Many young woman have never even been around a newborn, much less do they know what birth will be like, aside from depictions on television and in movies. In many places, birth has become so medicalized that mom needs to hire an advocate for her to just be able to sort out her choices.
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Often times, pregnancy is treated as a medical condition or illness, instead of a rite of passage or an experience to make her a better mother. Expectant mothers often live far away from their own mother or do not have a deep relationship with her, where Mom-to-be feels comfortable allowing Grandma-to-be into her birthing room.Decoded Pregnancy
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