What is a Doula?

A doula is a trained professional birth assistant. She provides mothers with emotional, physical, and informational support during pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum time period.  

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