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Doula is a word that has most closely become associated with a person who provides non-medical support to women and their families during labour and childbirth.

Doulas do not replace the support system; instead, they help support them so that they can focus on loving and encouraging the laboring woman. Doulas serve as a source of information during pregnancy, labor and birth. A doula assists families in gathering information about their pregnancy, labor and the options available for delivery.

Doulas are trained and experienced in childbirth, and the goal is to provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational support before labor, and during labor, birth and the immediate postpartum period. The intent of a doula is to help the woman have a safe and satisfying experience, as the woman defines it, and to support, encourage, and educate the father or partner in their support style rather than replacing them.