Benefits

“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
-Dr. John Kennell

A doula is a person who is trained to provide emotional, physical, and informational support during the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. She is there to care for you as your new family is born. Pregnancy, birth, and the transition into parenthood can be a very emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual process, and your doula will be there for you as you go through this journey.

A doula does not provide any medical services, but a doula does provide continuous support during your birthing time (labor). While your doctor, nurse, or midwife could change at the end of a shift, your doula will not. Your doula is there to support you. She works for you and not for your hospital, doctor, etc. She is there to provide you with the individual support you need as your unique birth process unfolds.

Studies have found many benefits to having a doula present for your birth. Some of these benefits include:

Jennifer Mason Photography

Jennifer Mason Photography

-28% decrease in the risk of cesarean
-31% decrease in the use of pitocin
-increased satisfaction with the birth experience
-decreased risk of newborns being admitted to the special care nursery
-decrease in the use of pain medications and epidurals
-increased chances of having a spontaneous vaginal birth
-shorter labors with fewer complications
-decrease in the need for vacuum or forceps-assisted births

Families who use a doula also:

-have greater breastfeeding success
-have greater self-confidence
-feel more secure and cared for
-experience less postpartum depression

Partners and Doulas

References:

http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/
http://www.dona.org/mothers/why_use_a_doula.php
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1948096/