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Definition of Doula

Doula: 1. A non-medical assistant in childbirth. A doula is not the father but is usually a woman who is experienced in childbirth. The role of the doula is to provide the mother with physical and emotional assistance before, during, or after childbirth. Also known as a birth assistant, birth companion, childbirth assistant, or labor support professional.
2. A non-professional assistant in dying, someone who is not a doctor, nurse, social worker or minister or a person like that, but is a volunteer. A doula has been somewhat enlightened in the particulars of death and nurtures someone through their final days.

From the Greek doule referring to a woman who was a slave or servant.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=26319
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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