What is a Doula?
Why should I hire one?
Why hire a doula for your birth?
Doulas provide many benefits to mothers, babies, and families. Doulas give you emotional, physical, and informational support. They support your relationships with the family members you may invite to your birth as well as those with your chosen care providers. Doulas improve your experience of birth and many measurable medical outcomes as well. Physician and researcher Dr. John H. Kennell stated,
“If a doula was a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
Doula support lowers cesarean risk dramatically, shortens labor, has a measurable positive impact on the bond between mother and baby, and also on the mother’s bond and satisfaction with her husband/partner. Doulas reduce the need for medications and medical procedures that carry risks, including forceps and vacuum extraction. Doulas even reduce a mother’s risk of postpartum mood disorder.
The benefit of having a doula extends to the hospital and the care provider. Doulas reduce a myriad of risks for mothers and babies. Studies also show conclusively that women who have doula support during their births are happier with their experiences and have higher patient satisfaction scores.
So what does a doula do?
Doulas provide non-medical support. This means that your doula provides care that is geared to reduce your risks, increase your comfort, and provide you with support, leaving clinical tasks such as monitoring and diagnosis to your caregivers. Doulas use a variety of techniques to help your labor progress normally, reduce your pain and discomfort, and to help you made decisions about your care that reflect your values and needs. A doula encourages and assists you in having excellent communication with your care providers.
Additionally, and unlike other caregivers during your birth, your doula is with you continuously and is focused only on you. Doulas do not give medical advice, make clinical assessments or diagnoses, or interfere in your relationship with your healthcare providers.