What is a Doula
Doulas are trained and experienced in childbirth to provide physical, emotional and informational support to mothers and their partners during labor and birth. Studies have shown continuous support during birth from a person outside the mother's family or social circle, such as a Doula, is associated with reduced mortality rates, improved overall health of the mother and the baby, shorter labor time, reduced risk of a caesarean birth and a lower need for medical interventions such as instrumental delivery or pain relief. Support from a Doula may also reduce mothers' negative feelings about their childbirth experience. A Doulas role is to support the birth a mother wants.
WHAT DOULAS DO:
Provides emotional support.
Use comfort measures: breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning, etc.
Continuously reassures & comforts (the key word is continuous—a doula never leaves your side).
Helps you become informed about various birth choices.
Advocates for you & helps facilitate communication between you & care provider.
Looks after your partner as well.
WHAT DOULAS DO NOT DO:
Doulas are NOT medical professionals.
We do not perform clinical tasks such as vaginal exams or fetal heart monitoring.
We do not give medical advice or diagnose conditions.
We do not judge you for decisions that you make.
We do not let our personal values or biases get in the way of caring for you (for example, we should not pressure you into making any decisions just because that’s what we prefer).
We do not take over the role of your partner.
We do not deliver the baby.
We do not change shifts.
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT HAVING A BIRTH DOULA PRESENT AT YOUR BIRTH:
31% decrease in the use of Pitocin
28% decrease in the risk of C-section
12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience- Reduces the use of medical interventions such as forceps, vacuum extraction, episiotomy, etc.
Facilitates breastfeeding initiation and continuation
Reduces the instance of postpartum mood disorders
Increases new parents confidence in the care of their newborn