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Doula Janelle Brandon holds one of the babies she was present for during an all-natural birth at Essentia Health in July of 2011. She had doulas for both of her children's births, and she's been present for 13 births as a doula herself.

Pregnant? A doula can help -- During labor, this helper is a woman's best friend

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About six years ago, Erin Foley had just had her second child and she read in a parenting magazine about birth doulas and thought it was an interesting idea.

"A doula (pronounced doo-lah) is basically professional labor support," Foley said. "We don't do anything medical. We're there to support the woman and her partner before, during and after childbirth."

She was intrigued, so she researched it more and found she had an even deeper interest.

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