Welcoming a new baby to the world this year?
Do yourself a favor.
Hire a doula. Research shows that doula support has a huge impact on labor outcomes.
A birth doula provides emotional, physical, and informational support prenatally, continuously during labor, and postpartum.
If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it. ~ John H. Kennell, MD
14 reasons to include doula support on your birth team
- Much lower risk of a surgical birth (cesarean section) – there are many reasons why avoiding surgery during birth is a goal for many families. A doula lowers your risk of surgical birth by providing support and information prenatally and during active labor.
- Shorter labor – presumably due to the relaxing effect a knowledgeable person who remains present provides. In addition doulas provide suggestions that increase the effectiveness of labor.
- Increased satisfaction postpartum – When women are respected and empowered to make their own informed choices during birth, their initiation into parenthood is incredible.
- Decreased risk of interventions during birth – a doula will have a prenatal meeting with you to talk about your birth preferences. During this discussion, it will become clear that one intervention can quickly lead to another. A doula helps parents decide what interventions they would like and what interventions they would like to avoid. A doula then supports choices during birth – even if they change!
- Reduced risk of pitocin (to induce or augment labor) – pitocin can lead to further complications, increases discomfort of labor, and doesn’t always work.
- Essential continuous support – doulas don’t leave when a shift change happens. No matter how long your labor takes, your doula is available.
- Labor is more comfortable with a doula – women are less likely to request pharmaceutical pain relief when provided with doula support in labor.
- Support for the whole family prenatally, during the birth, and postpartum – it takes two people to make a baby and often there are two people stepping into a new phase of their parenting journey during birth. A doula provides suggestions and support for the partner as well as the mom. This may mean encouraging the partner to hold a cool cloth to the mom’s forehead. Or it may mean letting the partner know when it’s a good time to go grab a bite to eat.
- Community referrals and recommendations – doulas are out in their community with a focus on the local birth culture. This means they know different provider options, where to find maternity clothes, what playgroups are great for new moms, when the next breastfeeding support group meeting is, where to find a pool when your 72 months pregnant and it’s February, etc.
- A doula trusts birth and your ability to birth – Experienced and trained in birth, a doula will trust your body to birth your baby in a way that is best for you and your baby.
- Your birth experience matters – Your doula understands this and is dedicated to holding space for you to birth as you need to.
- Information in the moment – Your doula is extremely familiar with birth and can provide information and options in real time. Your doula will never make decisions for you, but will support you as you make the choices for your birth. Your doula will be able to help explain medical procedures and routines.
- Unconditional support – no matter what choices you make around your birth prenatally, during labor, or postpartum. Your doula will provide research-backed information. Then cheer-lead you along your way – no matter what way that is.
- Increased rate of breastfeeding – research shows doula support makes a difference, including increasing likelihood of a strong breastfeeding relationship.