Why have a Doula?
There are numerous benefits to having a doula present during labor and birth. Not only will a doula provide non-judgmental, continual, one-on-one physical, emotional, and when needed-educational support throughout labor and birth, but she is committed to ensuring you have safe, positive and empowering experience.
According to research published through the Cochrane Review, data suggests that women who had continual support throughout their birthing experience resulted in:
-25% shorter labors
-30% less requests for pain medication
-60% less epidural requests
-50% reduction in cesarean births
-40% reduction of the use forceps in deliveries
Research by Dr. John Kennell also supports doulas, showing that mothers who accompanied by a doula through labor and birth are more likely to successfully experience success in breastfeeding their infant and have a decreased risk of postpartum difficulties such as depression and anxiety, as well as higher overall satisfaction with their experience. The late Dr. Kennell, famous for founding DONA International, also spoke this powerful and profound phrase which sill echos true today, “if a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
Simply put, everyone can benefit from adding a doula as an essential part of the birth team, bringing a sense of calm, confidence and control to the birth. From providing information on medical procedures, answering questions, calming doubt, providing physical support through massage, positioning, and navigation through other pain management techniques, doulas can empower women to achieve the best birth outcomes possible, and all outcomes—for births, infants, and mothers—seem to be affected more positively if support is provided by a doula in addition to the medical personnel (Impact of Doulas on Healthy Birth Outcome, The Journal of Perinatal Education).
·Bohren, M.A., Hofmeyr, G., Sakala, C., et al. (2017). “Continuous support for women during childbirth.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD003766.
·Caton, D., M. P. Corry, et al. (2002). “The nature and management of labor pain: executive summary.” Am J Obstet Gynecol 186(5 Suppl Nature): S1-15.
· Updated on August 16, 2017 by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN. Originally published on March 27, 2013. https://