Role of a Doula
The word “Doula” originates
from ancient Greece, meaning “female caregiver”
or “hand maiden”.
A Doula these days is a woman experienced
and trained in offering emotional and practical support to
a woman (or couple), before, during and after childbirth.
In many cultures around the world, the women
in the community gather together around the time of child
birth to look after and support the new mum in pregnancy and
through to the first weeks and months, at which time they
would take over her chores so that she is able to nurture,
feed, and bond with the newborn. The mum is likely to need
this time to recover from both the pregnancy and the birth.
Sadly, this is lacking in western society, and mothers are
very often left to cope alone, particularly when their families
are distant or unable to give their time.
This is such a special period in the life
of both the mother and her newborn – they really should
be given every opportunity to enjoy and relax together. Support
at this crucial time has been shown to reduce the incidence
of post natal depression.
In helping the mother, this in turn helps
the father – he will feel good if the mum is feeling
good. Sometimes the expectations of fathers, especially new
dads is unrealistic and can be overwhelming. This can lead
to feelings of inadequacy and failure. A father is a father,
he cannot possibly assume the role of a mother figure, this
is where a Doula is invaluable.
For more detailed information, please see