Doulas can be an invaluable member of your birthing team.
A doula is a trusted person that journeys with you through your pregnancy. When the time comes to birth, a doula is a familiar presence who will offer continuous support during labour and birth as well as in the postpartum period. Doulas offer emotional support, reassurance and physical comfort measures to those giving birth and their chosen support people. Doulas are keepers of a wide breadth of knowledge and skills related to the childbearing continuum and can provide a safe space to talk through thoughts, concerns and questions as well as a full spectrum of evidence based information to aid in decision making.
Studies show the many benefits that having a doula offers:
- Labours are shorter.
- There are fewer complications.
- There is less need for oxytocin to speed labour.
- There are fewer forceps or vacuum extraction deliveries.
- There is less need for pain medication or epidurals.
- There are fewer caesarean deliveries.
- Babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
- Women express greater satisfaction with their birth experience and an enhanced relationship with their partner.
Information from Mothering the Mother, by Klaus, Kennel and Klaus 1993