Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A support person, usually female, who may not have medical or midwifery training, who provides emotional assistance to a mother or pregnant couple before, during or after childbirth.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an assistant (often the father of the soon-to-be-born child) who provides support for a woman in labor by encouraging her to use techniques learned in childbirth-preparation classes

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin from Greek δούλα (doula, "servant-woman"), from Ancient Greek δούλη (doulē, "female slave").

Examples

  • The original meaning of the word doula comes from the Greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing.

    The Daily Times News Headlines

  • Anthropologist Dana Raphael first used the term doula to refer to experienced mothers who assisted new mothers in breastfeeding and newborn care in the book Tender Gift: Breastfeeding 1973.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Anthropologist Dana Raphael first used the term doula to refer to experienced mothers who assisted new mothers in breastfeeding and newborn care in the book Tender Gift: Breastfeeding 1973.

    The History of Doulas from Antiquity to April 26, 2009

  • Although the word doula is Greek in origin, it is commonly used today to describe a professional birth assistant.

    The Daily Times News Headlines

  • A doula a Greek word meaning “to serve” comes into the home to care for a new family.

    Mothering Twins

  • The word doula comes from Ancient Greek δούλη doulē, and refers to a woman of service....

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • The word doula comes from Ancient Greek δούλη doulē, and refers to a woman of service....

    The History of Doulas from Antiquity to April 26, 2009

  • And today, I called the doula people again; they are having trouble finding one in my area who is free to come in April.

    On babies, bumps and birthing

  • While their proponents say a doula, the Greek word for slave, describes "the second-oldest profession" - female birth attendants predate Western medicine by a long way - their use has quadrupled in the past five years.

    Telegraph.co.uk: news, business, sport, the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Sunday Telegraph

  • If you don’t have any close friends who have had a baby recently, or a mom who gave birth too long ago to be “current” and open minded, then a doula is a must.

    solicited advice « Adventures in Juggling

Comments

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  • "Ann Coulter wants to be my doula." Louis Bayard, "What Mary Cheney Should Expect When She's Expecting," Salon.com (12/7/06).

    December 8, 2006

  • See also monitrice

    February 4, 2008

  • "For every breed of consultant, there are meta-consultants: special consultants who can help us pick our nanny, night nurse, or doula (the new age version)—all for either a fee up front or a cut of the referred consultant’s charges. If the meta-consultant is too expensive, then we can just go back to the web and read the user reviews of everyone and everything out there. Our online peers will point us to the goods and services we need for our baby to measure up to today’s standards."

    - Douglas Rushkoff, Raising Baby Einstein, Arthur (magazine), Dec 2007.

    March 23, 2009

  • I read that this term comes from the ancient Greek word for "female slave."

    April 13, 2009