"Doula" is an ancient Greek word for "servant" or "handmaiden" and has come to refer to "A woman who is experienced in childbirth, and who provides continuous physical, emotional and information support to a woman before, during and immediately after childbirth". A doula offers help and advice on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning. A massage doula also uses massage techniques which can help the mother to have a more positive birth experience.
Having a doula present at the birth can help to:
Shorten the length of labor
Reduce the need for pain medication
Reduce the need for epidurals
Reduce the need for Caesarean sections
Reduce the need for forceps or vacuum extraction
Enhances the mother's birth experience