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When the storm is full on
And the ocean waves soar
And you start to lose your bearings
Afraid to get tumbled and drown
Out comes a loving hand
Gently guiding you surf the waves
With ease and grace
Using your breath as a sail
Taking you all the way to the calmer turquoise waters
Where the dolphin dance..
The word, "doula," comes from the ancient Greece a word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing.
In our days it's meaning refers to "A woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth." (Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother)
Some like to call her a 'Birth Angel"!
Doula in our modern terms implies a wise female, who selflessly nurtures and protects the birthing mother/ couple throughout pregnancy, process of birthing and postpartum.
Giving birth is the opposite end of lovemaking. Just like in lovemaking, the more she can open the more profound (and in case of birth easy flowing, complications free) experience. Woman's ease of birth depends on her feelings of comfort, safety, ability to relax, to open. Over and over it's been shown that a mere continuous presence of another 'sister woman' during birthing shortens the duration of labor increases the effectiveness of contractions, lessens the experience of pain, and the need for interventions. It is as if just the mere physical presence of a kindred spirit would give the laboring mother a source of strength and optimism, acknowledgment that 'everything is all right', the necessary element for surrendering the marvelous force of birth. Doula is a wise woman specially prepared for providing loving, nurturing support to the birthing mother (couple) and in the often challenging weeks to follow.
The profound, elating experience of birthing my children has inspired me to become a Doula, yearning for every woman having the opportunity to experience the kind of beautiful, empowering, ecstatic birth nature made her for.