The Role of a Doula

In ancient Greek, the word “doula” translates to “a woman servant”. Today, “doula” has come to mean a trained professional, experienced in childbirth, who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to mothers and their partners during pregnancy, throughout their labor, and beyond.

Below are some statistics showing the ways having a doula present at your birth can improve your birth experience, improve your connection with your baby and ease your transition into parenthood.

Research has shown that women who had doulas reported:

  • Greater success in breastfeedingbreastfeeding, women's building

  • More maternal infant interaction

  • Less postpartum depression and anxiety

  • Greater self-confidence

  • Perceives her baby to be above the standard baby

  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics

  • Overall more satisfaction with her birth experience

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:

  • Reduces the need for medication by 35%

  • Reduces the need for forceps by 50%

  • Reduces the need for cesarean Section 51%

  • Reduces the length of labor by an average of 98 minutes

  • Tends to result in a labor with fewer overall complications

[Most of these statistics can be found in Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993)]

One of my favorite birth-related sites, evidencebasedbirth.com, further explains the value of a doula (and uses a great conceptual model in doing so!).

And if you needed more, here’s 10 reasons…

Hear what families had to say about their individual birth experiences with me as their doula in the testimonials.

 

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