What is a Birth Doula?
While your partner is an irreplaceable support person that provides love and security, he or she has not likely had training regarding birth support, medical terminology, and physiology. The same is true about your mother, sister, or best friend.
Your care provider may not able to stay with you throughout the course of labor. The same is true for nurses or birthing assistants. While many care providers would love to be able to spend more time with you, they are typically caring for multiple mothers at once and are simply unable to give each their undivided attention. Additionally, their primary focus is your medical health (as it should be!).
A doula has invested time in developing a relationship with you, is professionally trained, and remains with you, providing emotional and physical support, through your entire birth!
Studies have shown the effects of having a doula present for your birth include:
- shorter labors with fewer complications
- reduced rates of intervention and augmentation, including the use of forceps, pitocin, epidural, and Cesarean-section
- more satisfaction with partners and the birth experience
- less postpartum anxiety and depression
- better breastfeeding outcomes
- reduced cost of obstetric care