Wikipedia: A doula (//, also known as a labour coach , is a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her partner and/or family, by providing physical assistance, and emotional support. The provision of continuous support during labour by doulas (as well as nurses, family, or friends) is associated with improved maternal and fetal health and a variety of other benefits.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of a doula-supported birth. As you consider a doula-supported birth, consider some of the findings:
Effects on Birth Outcomes:
Effects on the Mother:
- Labors are 25% shorter.¹
- There are fewer complications.
- Cesarean rates are reduced by 50%.¹
- There is 40% less need for oxytocin to speed up labor.¹
- Need for forceps is reduced by 40%.¹
- Women request 30% less pain medication and 60% fewer epidurals.¹
- Greater satisfaction with their birth experience.
- More positive assessments of their babies.
- Less postpartum depression.
- Babies have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care nurseries.
- Babies breastfeed more easily.
- Mothers are more affectionate to their babies postpartum.
Effects on Partner
- Greater sense of security for birthing partner.
- Ability to focus on being the best support to birthing partner and/or siblings.
- Learned and/or enforced skills to support birthing partner.
- Over all peace about planning the family's birth.
- The cost of obstetrical care is dramatically reduced.
- Women are pleased with the personalized care doulas offer.
- The Benefit of continuous support in labor is recognized by:
- The World Health Organization
- The Medical Leadership Council (an organization of over 1200 U.S. hospitals)
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada