Welcome and Congratulations!!
I'm so happy for you and your family that you're having a doula assist with your birth experience. Preparing for such a life-altering event, from prenatal through postpartum period and beyond, is a most loving, easeful and joyous way to go.
If you're new to the term doula, it comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
You may already know...
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
*tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
*reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
*reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
*reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
Research shows parents who receive support:
*feel more secure and cared for
*are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
*have greater success with breastfeeding
*have greater self-confidence
*have less postpartum depression
*have lower incidence of abuse
...there's every reason in the world to have a doula at your birth.
(Content taken directly from DONA International)