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 Adrienne Maree Brown, a writer, a doula and an activist. Nicole Gull Mcelroy, Fortune, 10 May 2022 Then came what felt like a blessing: Shyana Broughton, who founded Our Mommie Village a few years earlier to provide doula and lactation support for Black mothers such as Gorey. Washington Post, 8 May 2022 Cueva gave birth in the hospital with only a doula and hospital staff. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, 7 May 2022 If a midwife is akin to a doctor during labor and delivery, a doula is that wise sister-friend whose role is to comfort, coach and advocate for the mother-to-be. Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2021 That revelation doesn’t come until Van and Darius’ mini shopping trip leads them to a bizarre, cult-like ceremony that happens to be Tupac’s funeral hosted by a death doula. Niki Mcgloster,, 30 Mar. 2022 Krasnostein was introduced to her through Annie, a death doula and monk who had been married multiple times. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 Milwaukee doula Terri Simmons has seen firsthand how Mumford's experience — both with her own births and with her advocacy for others — informs Mumford's trainings. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Jan. 2022 Thank you so much to everyone at Cedars Sinai, our amazing doula Carmen and all of our friends and family for the support. Jd Knapp,, 9 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Doula.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for doula


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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