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Birthing From Within Mentor
The word "Doula" is Greek in origin and formerly meant
"experienced woman slave/helper to another women". The function
of the doula has existed since the beginning of recorded history. In
modern times it has come to mean "a woman experienced in child
birth that helps another women by giving them emotional, physical,
and informational support during childbirth and the months before
and after the birth".
In times past our doula would have been our sisters, our mothers,
our girlfriends. We would have witnessed many of them birthing
naturally and parenting postpartum. We would have acted as their
doula with other women even before we birthed our first child, more.
Unfortunately today's birth culture is such that most women aren't
comfortable or accepting of natural birth. Most labor in hospitals,
plan epidurals and return to work quickly. Therefore women who
do desire natural birth usually have not witnessed it.
What we used to learn from women around us birthing naturally
was how to cope with the intensities of labor, what is normal labor,
how to get through a long labor, how to embrace birth, and how to
bond with our new babies. We have replaced that experience with
childbirth classes, pain coping practice, and doulas for women
who want to experience natural childbirth.
When you choose your doula she should be someone you trust,
someone you could see as a family friend, and someone who
respects how you want your experience to be.
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Mothers that use doulas report being more satisfied with their birth experience , their babies, and their
partners than women who do not contract the services of a doula.
"The Doula Book" by Marshall H. Klaus, M.D., John H. Kennell, M.D., and Phyllis H. Klaus, C.S.W.,M.F.T.
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