doula \DOO-luh\, noun:
A woman who assists during childbirth labor and provides support to the mother, her child and the family after childbirth.
Chris Morley launched Tender Care Doula Service in Valencia, California, seven years ago to provide nonmedical postpartum care workers (or doulas) to frazzled new moms.
-- Roy Huffman, "Healthy returns", Entrepreneur Magazine, February 1, 1996
Unlike midwives, who deliver babies and are licensed to perform medical tasks, labor doulas provide emotional and physical support to the laboring parents.Doula derives from Greek doula, "servant-woman, slave," akin to hierodule.
-- Stephen L. Richmond, "One Labor-Intensive Job", Time, March 12, 2001