The word “Doula” originates from Greece. It was originally used to signify the most important female slave or servant in the ancient Greek household.
In addition to her general assistance around the home, the Doula would have also helped the lady of the house through her childbearing experiences and it is in this application that the word has found it’s modern meaning:
“A woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.”
Klaus, Kennel and Klaus “Mothering the Mother”