What is a Doula?
A doula can also help mothers and their partners prepare to welcome their baby by providing them with information and resources to plan for their birth.
During labor a doula provides non-medical assistance including comfort measures, pain relieving techniques, recommending labor positions, advice to help labor progress more quickly and easily, and by giving her partner suggestions on how to be involved.
Why Hire a Doula?
Having a doula assisted labor and birth has been scientifically proven to:
- Reduce Cesarean rates by up to 60%
- Reduce the use of Pitocin by 40%
- Reduce the length of labor by 25%
- Reduce requests for an epidural by 60%
- Increase the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth (i.e. without forceps or vacuum) by 40%
- Decrease the risk of newborns being admitted to the NICU
- Increase 5 minute Apgar scores in newborns (rating of breathing, muscle tone, and heart rate)
- Increase satisfaction in the overall birth experience
- Improve the relationship between mom and partner.
- More than twice as likely to be breastfeeding at 6 weeks. Study
“Continuous labor support was most effective when the provider was NOT a part of the hospital staff and was NOT a part of the woman’s own social network.” See the Report .
“Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes and safely prevent a primary cesarean delivery, is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.”
See the Report published by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine joint statement: Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery
“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”Dr. John Kennell
Dads and Doulas
The question is frequently asked by skeptical father’s, “Will a doula try to take my place?” The answer is “Absolutely not!” As the father/partner you love and have a history with the birthing mother. You are knowledgeable about how she deals with pain and stress. You are aware of areas where she may be challenged and know of ways to support her.
As a doula, I have extensive training and knowledge about the birthing process. I have skills in physical, mental, and emotional support, as well as comfort techniques for the laboring mother. I have experience supporting families before, during, and after the birth of your baby.
A doula can also take some of the stress and pressure off YOU–the partner–by keeping track of labor. You can hold the laboring mother’s hand for hours without having to worry about timing contractions, or thinking about effective position changes. Doulas can give you suggestions on helping the mother stay comfortable. They can provide you with breaks during a long labor, give you with a chance to eat or rest without worrying about leaving mom alone. You may feel concerned seeing the person you care about in pain, and a doula can remind you of the intensity of normal labor, and that mother and baby are fine. A doula will help support you both throughout the labor so that you and mom get to have the best possible experience on your baby’s birth day!
Together, doulas and partners are the perfect combination for a winning team!