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 Women are receiving support from their doulas during delivery through digital devices. Amy Graff, Houston Chronicle, "'The weirdest thing is growing this bump by yourself': What pregnancy, birth are like in a pandemic," 17 Apr. 2020 At Natural Resources store and community center in San Francisco, birthing tub rentals are up 25%, and attendees of virtual classes are asking about hospital alternatives, says doula and instructor Lauren Miller. Sarah Feldberg, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area women turning to midwives and home birth during pandemic," 13 Apr. 2020 For example, there is a large body of data demonstrating that continuous labor support from doulas or birth partners improves outcomes for people giving birth. Neel Shah, STAT, "With only ‘shaky data’ to go on, it’s tough to practice evidence-based medicine during the Covid-19 pandemic," 11 Apr. 2020 The growing use of doulas at births in part led Community officials to open the new midwife clinics, hospital officials said. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "No longer a thing of the past, midwifery care enters the hospital," 23 Jan. 2020 UR Medicine said in a message on its website that the only exceptions are parents of a child in the hospital and a partner, spouse or doula visiting a patient in the maternity unit. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "New York man exposed to coronavirus hid symptoms to visit wife in maternity unit of hospital," 31 Mar. 2020 Domino Kirke, founder of Carriage House Birth, shares how her doula collective is adjusting to the new reality. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "The coronavirus crisis puts Equal Pay Day in a new light," 31 Mar. 2020 Hospitals typically allow women to welcome multiple guests at their labors—including friends, family, a midwife, or doula and, of course, spouses and partners—to offer support, take photos and share the experience. Amy Graff, Houston Chronicle, "'The weirdest thing is growing this bump by yourself': What pregnancy, birth are like in a pandemic," 17 Apr. 2020 Vendors at the shower included medical professionals, midwives, doulas and nutritionists who gave new and expectant moms information and resources about keeping themselves and their babies healthy. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Last year, 1,000 came to a community baby shower at Sherman Phoenix. This year, it's postponed.," 27 Mar. 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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Time Traveler for doula

Time Traveler

The first known use of doula was in 1969

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Statistics for doula

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Doula.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doula. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for doula

doula

noun
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

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doula

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