Your birth experience will be a lifelong memory, and using doula services can help insure that the birth of your child will be a memory of satisfaction. A doula recognizes birth as a key life experience, understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor. She assists a laboring woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for the birth. She stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the birth experience, providing emotional support, suggesting practical comfort measures, and providing objective information to aid decision making. She supplements, rather than replaces, the woman’s partner or care provider. She helps make a woman’s birth experience be a positive event with rich rewards and feelings of accomplishment.
In centuries past, women gave birth in familiar surroundings amid family members, friends, and when possible, a midwife. For the last few decades in the US, it has become customary for women to give birth in hospitals, cared for by strangers. Since modern obstetrical care relies heavily on technology, and can be complex and confusing, parents are once again turning for help to kindly women with experience in helping women give birth.
Recent studies* indicate that doulas:
- Decrease the overall cesarean rate by 28%
- Decrease the length of labor by 25%
- Decrease the oxytocin by 31%
- Decrease the request for pain meds by 9%
- Decrease the need by forceps by 40%
- Decrease negative childbirth experiences by 34%
- Help fathers participate with confidence
- Increase success in breast-feeding
- Provide greater maternal satisfaction
*See Marshall Klaus M.D.; Phyllis Klaus, M.Ed; and John Kennell, M..D. The Doula Book and other studies. Hodnett , E D. , Gates, S , Hofmeyr , G J. , & Sakala ,C . (2013). Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD003766. Pub 5
Evidence on: Doulas from EvidenceBasedBirth.com