Information obtained from DONA International
Doulas are carefully trained professionals who can help a mother to realize that her birth experience is the most natural thing in the world, despite the unfamiliar changes and reactions of her body. The doula's familiar face and wisdom might be just the tonic that birthing women need (Jackson, With Child).
Doulas have assisted women in birth since the beginning of time. The word "doula," means "woman caregiver", an ancient Greek term referring to the most valued and trusted birth companion. The word has come to refer 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).
Information obtained from studies recorded in Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993).