"Only with trust, faith & support can the woman allow the birth experience to enlighten and empower her." -Claudia Lowe 

The word doula comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves." A doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to mothers before, during and after childbirth. Studies have shown that when doulas attend births, labors are shorter with fewer complications, and babies are healthier and breastfeed more easily. Research shows that doulas reduce epidural use by up to 60%, cesarean sections by 50%, and synthetic oxytocin by 40%. ("The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth" by Marshall H. Klaus, John H. Kennell & Phyllis H. Klaus)