Doulas are birth coaches whose purpose is to provide physical, emotional, and informational support during labor and birth. There are multiple benefits of a doula in labor.
Don’t know the Benefits of a Doula In Labor?
Well, let’s start with how they become your partner, friend, and support; they will be whatever you need them to be in labor.
Doulas are knowledgable in all things labor and birth so it makes sense you would want one and why you should definitely get one.
What Do Doulas Do In Labor:
Doulas are there for you through labor and delivery, the will help with ALL of the following:
- Provide constant emotional, mental and physical support
- Have information in regards to options about birth.
- Accommodating the mother’s preferences for the birth environment (low light, soft music, etc)
- Supporting the father or birth partner in the best way to support the mother.
- A doula does NOT give medical advice or interfere with the doctor/mother relationship.
What Doulas Don’t Do:
- They don’t give medical advice as they are not medical professionals.
- Doulas do not perform any medical tasks or exams.
- They will not take breaks or leave while you are in labor. They do not take shifts, a doula is always with a laboring mom.
Benefits Of A Doula:
- Having a doula helps you have a better birth experience.
- Around the clock support.
- A doula’s purpose would be to be there for you, her sole priority would be your comfort.
- Doulas help ease you into labor with constant guidance and encouragement.
A Cochrane review published in 2012 found that in labors with the continuous presence of a doula, laboring mothers experience:
- Reduced use of Pitocin
- Decreased rate of interventions during labor
- Less need for pain medication and fewer requests for epidural
- Higher satisfaction with birth outcomes
- Much lower c-section rate
- Higher chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth
- Shorter labors
The American Journal of Managed Care reported in 2014:
“Doula-supported women had lower odds of cesarean compared without doula support and those who desired but did not have doula support (AOR = 0.41, CI, 0.18-0.96; and AOR = 0.31, CI, 0.13-0.74). The odds of nonindicated cesarean were 80-90% lower among doula-supported women (AOR= 0.17, CI, 0.07-0.39; and AOR= 0.11, CI, 0.03-0.36).” (source)
Important questions to ask when considering a doula:
- What is your training? If certified, through what organization?
- Are you available around my due date?
- How many other clients do you have around this time?
- What is your philosophy about birth and how do you most often support women in labor?
- How many births have you attended?
- Have you attended births at my birth location and what was it like there?
- Do you have experience with my caregiver?
- Do you have a backup doula and will I meet her?
- At what point in labor do you meet up with us?
- How do we contact you during labor? Are you always on call?
- What coping techniques do you find most helpful?
- What are your fees?
- Why did you become a doula?
- Have you given birth yourself? Did you have a doula? What were your birth experiences?
“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
John H. Kenell, MD
Have you had a doula? What was your experience? Are there other benefits of a Doula I missed? Leave a note in the comment section below…
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