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 Enhance health plan reimbursements rates for services that benefit maternal and infant health, such as doula services and lactation support. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Racism, poverty among factors that contribute to Michigan's dreadful infant mortality rate," 1 Mar. 2020 Badgley and Kirke, a singer turned doula and birth educator, were first romantically linked in 2014. Claudia Harmata,, "Penn Badgley Honors Wife Domino Kirke on Her Birthday: ‘A Truly Radiant Soul’," 19 Dec. 2019 Wills feels the culture is shifting, and as doulas and midwives become more common in maternity wards, vaginal breech births may increase too. Kate Morgan, Harper's BAZAAR, ""It's a Battle Scar": The Emotional Toll of C-Sections No-one Talks About," 3 Oct. 2019 Birthing Beautiful doula Marlene Morris during a check-in at the home of Rachel Woods in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. cleveland, "Birthing Beautiful Babies wants to fix ‘terrifying reality’ of black infant mortality in Ohio: Cleveland Champions," 25 Nov. 2019 Midwives also frequently partner with doulas, who provide additional support to the laboring mother. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "No longer a thing of the past, midwifery care enters the hospital," 23 Jan. 2020 Callers can also receive information and referrals for support groups, doulas, lactation consultants, home visiting programs, psychotherapy and psychiatric care says Jo Kim, the director of the Perinatal Depression Program. Dawn Reiss,, "‘There was no judgment. It was like she was hugging me through the phone.’ Where new moms can find the support they need in the Chicago area," 27 Nov. 2019 Graham told guests during her speech at the shower, which the model’s doula, Latham Thomas, posted on social media. Georgia Slater,, "Pregnant Ashley Graham Jokes Her Baby Shower Was 'Bigger Than My Wedding'," 9 Nov. 2019 Therapists, doulas, dentists, specialists and even pharmacists of color will be invited to list their services on HUED. NBC News, "How black pharmacists are closing the cultural gap in health care," 25 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for doula

Time Traveler

The first known use of doula was in 1969

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Statistics for doula

Last Updated

12 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Doula.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for doula


How to pronounce doula (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of doula

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


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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doula

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