Role and Benefits of a Doula

Benefits of a Doula

Role of Doula during Labor and Delivery

A doula is trained to make you the most comfortable and knowledgeable you can be during your journey of pregnancy and birth.  During labor a doula will stay with you providing support in any and all ways that will assist with an easier birthing experience physically and emotionally.  This includes being your advocate in a medical setting, supporting any other birthing partners support you, apply techniques to keep you calm and your most comfortable, and providing information.

Benefits of a Doula

A doula provides continuous support to a laboring mother.  The effect and impact of this is great.  From Evidencebasedbirth.com we see:

  • 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*

The starred items indicate results were better with a doula specifically than with all other types of continuous support.

From Cochrane Library review including 23 trials across 16 countries of over 15000 women resulted that laboring women given continuous support were:

  • More likely to give birth spontaneously (no caesarean, vacuum, or forcepts)
  • More likely satisfied with their births
  • Less likely to use pain medication
  • Babies were less likely to have low five-minute Apgar scores
  • Had slightly shorter labors

The review also noted the most beneficial continuous support appeared to be someone outside of the woman’s social network, has experience in labor support and has at least a modest amount of training.  This would include doulas.

One thought on “Role and Benefits of a Doula

  1. It’s great that you mention how a doula has training and knowledge that can help women be comfortable during their pregnancy and labor. This could be important to ensure that nothing goes wrong and your child is born healthy. Since they can provide so much help, you’d probably want to find a doula early on so you have someone to ask questions and to make sure you’re prepared for whenever you go into labor.

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