What Is A Doula? Benefits And Cost Of A Birth Doula For Pregnancy

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the word “doula,” the image of a zen-like woman calming and coaching an expectant parent through childbirth immediately comes to mind. And then…you pretty much draw a blank. What exactly does being a doula entail beyond being present at a baby’s grand entrance into the world? And what are some of the benefits of having a birth doula in addition to a doctor or midwife? Not to mention, what do they cost?

If you’re a parent-to-be asking these questions to your friends, family members, and anyone else who might have insight, look no further. Here, professional doulas and docs answer all your burning q’s—and more!–so you (pardon the cliché) know what to expect when you’re expecting:

First things first, what exactly ~is~ a doula?

Think of a doula as a therapist of sorts to guide you (and your partner, if applicable) through

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