doula

noun
dou·​la | \ ˈdü-lə How to pronounce doula (audio) \
plural doulas

Definition of doula

: a person trained to provide advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth Research shows that childbirth does go more smoothly with a doula: labor is 25 percent shorter, the need for epidural pain relief is 60 percent less and the Caesarean section rate is reduced by half.— Susan Gilbert

Examples of doula in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Studies suggest that the presence of a doula during childbirth may lead to fewer surgical interventions and better overall outcomes for mothers and babies, and advocates say that doulas can be particularly advantageous for women of color. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Isolation of New Parenthood During the Pandemic," 10 Mar. 2021 But another type of doula has emerged -- this time at the other end of life. Mackenzie Happe, CNN, "End-of-life doulas help people die comfortably. In a pandemic, they're more important than ever," 9 Mar. 2021 While Grondin’s physical symptoms are bad enough to keep her mostly homebound and unable to do her work as a postpartum doula, the constant mental fogginess has hit her hard emotionally. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Year Into the Pandemic, Long COVID Is Still Burdening Patients—and Their Caregivers," 15 Mar. 2021 Now, nine years later, Arthur works as a death doula and founder of Going with Grace, an organization that helps ailing people and their families prepare for death. Mackenzie Happe, CNN, "End-of-life doulas help people die comfortably. In a pandemic, they're more important than ever," 9 Mar. 2021 Browning—who now lives in London, Kentucky, and works as a doula—was able to have her third child’s birth at home with the assistance of a CPM and is planning on doing the same with her upcoming delivery. Sarah Baird, The New Republic, "The Midwives of Appalachia Get Organized," 29 Dec. 2020 After surviving a plane crash, a death doula travels to Egypt to reconnect with an old flame who is an archaeologist. Star Tribune, "New York Times bestsellers," 24 Nov. 2020 Davis credits Kathryn Hall-Trujillo with starting the group practice years ago, noting that Davis uses group prenatal care in her own work as a doula. Char Adams, NBC News, "Community is crucial for pregnant Black women with heart risks," 16 Dec. 2020 Also in the East Bay, Amy Griffith, a postpartum doula and nutritionist, was inspired by a neighbor’s setup to start her own COVID flock. Samantha Nobles-block, SFChronicle.com, "Move over pandemic puppies. COVID chickens are on the rise," 2 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doula.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of doula

1969, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for doula

Modern Greek, female helper, maidservant, from Greek doulē female slave

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Statistics for doula

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Doula.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doula. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for doula

doula

noun

English Language Learners Definition of doula

medical : a woman whose job is to give advice and comfort to a woman who is giving birth

doula

noun
dou·​la | \ ˈdü-lə How to pronounce doula (audio) \

Medical Definition of doula

: a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth

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