Two women and a child
by Diego Riviera
If you have a doctor for the birth but wish to have support before and during the birth or for the post-partum time, you can find a doula. A doula is a professional caregiver that knows the birth process and assists the mother with physical and emotional support. They give prenatal (ante-natal) support, and they stay with the mother throughout the birth, help her with natural pain management and can explain medical procedures. Doulas do not perform clinical exams but support using massage, position suggestions for labour and other natural means. They can help you to prepare for the birth, and help to prepare a birth plan (see link below), as well as be there after the birth for help with breastfeeding and baby care.
Studies show that a doula supported birth, like with midwives, is more likely to be faster, have less medical interventions, less pain medication, a lesser chance of having a caesarean birth, a higher breastfeeding success rate, as well as having less chances of medical interventionsfor the baby., , A study also reveals that women in a doula supported birth were likely to experience the same amount of labour pain as women who received epidural analgesia for pain relief.
To find a local doula see Birthing Naturally
 McGrath, S. K., & Kennell, J. H.. A randomized controlled trial of continuous labor support for middle-class couples: Effect on cesarean delivery rates. Birth, 35(2), 92-97 Wolters Kluwer Health - Ovid.com, June 2008, researched July 2009 <http://pt.wkhealth.com/pt/re/birt/abstract.00001857-200806000-00003.htm;jsessionid=KwpPK6hcR2X2nXzhlqhzGGJJy9sn5LbvVw0VNX17cJqGTgkGwg1F!-1104825961!181195629!8091!-1>
 Butler, Jaida. During childbirth - a friend in need is a friend indeed. Continuous Support During Childbirth. Research News in the Cochrane Library, 8 September 2003, researched August 2009 <http://www.cochrane.org/press/wiley/2003.09.08.doc>
 Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Doula Support Found To Be A Risk-Free Alternative For Pain Relief During Childbirth. ScienceDaily, 4 June 1997, researched June 2009, </releases/1997/06/970604100308.htm>
 McGrath, Susan K, et al.. Doula Support: A Risk Free Alternative for Pain Relief During Childbirth. The American Pediatric Society and The Society for Pediatric Research, 79 Pediatric Research: April 1997 - Volume 41 - Issue 4, Part 2 - p 16, April 1997, researched July 2009 <http://journals.lww.com/pedresearch/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=1997&issue=04001&article=00100&type=fulltext>