Benefits of a Doula

Are you still on the fence on whether or not you want to have a doula on your birthing team?

Below are ten benefits of having a doula! Doulas aren’t only beneficial to the mother, but also to the birth partner and the baby as you’ll see below!

Having a doula at your birth…

1. Reduces intervention and C-section rates, which also reduces cost of birth!

“Studies have shown that having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40% and requests for an epidural by 60%” (American Pregnancy).

Women who have a doula present at birth have 80% lower odds of having a non-medically indicated C-section compared with women who had no doula.

On average, a Caesarean birth costs about $10,000 more than a vaginal birth. Not to mention the added costs of pharmaceutical induction (starting) and augmentation (speeding up) of labor as well as pharmaceutical pain medications for vaginal births. (An epidural alone can cost between $1000-$2000).

Hiring a labor doula can greatly reduce these costs through suggesting non-pharmaceutical ways to improve labor and relieve pain, or simply being a calm and confident presence in the birthing room.

2. Improves bonding between mother and baby.

Research has shown how “having a doula in the room greatly improves the bonding between mother and baby” (DONA). “Positive birth experiences also contribute to improved bonding between mother and child and that this in turn reduces the likelihood of future abuse and neglect of that child” (Isis Rising).

3. Provides care unique from doctors, nurses, and midwives.

Having a doula on your support team makes a difference!

“The best results occurred when woman had continuous labor support from a doula– someone who was NOT a staff member at the hospital and who was NOT part of the woman’s social network. When continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced a:

  • 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
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience” (Evidenced Based Birth)

4. Allows fathers to care for mothers.

A doula does not replace the father during labor. A doula can run and get water or snacks for the mom to allow the father to stay in the room, or stay with the mom while the father runs to the restroom. The doula can show the father how to apply acupressure, and ensure the father that he’s doing a great job supporting the mom. “Also, most partners have limited knowledge about birth, medical procedures, or what goes on in a hospital. Doulas and partners can worktogether to make up a labor support team” (Evidence Based Birth).

5. Provides ways to alleviate pain.

Labor doulas receive training not only in the physiology of pain, but also in pain management. These various means of non-pharmaceutical options include acupressure, visualization, labor positions, counter pressure, breathing, relaxation, changing the environment, different positions, cold and heat, aromatherapy, massage, TENS machine, rebozo, birthing ball, etc

Doulas are also educated and familiar with many forms of medicated pain management, and can easily communicate to moms the benefits and risks of epidurals, narcotic analgesics, sterile water injections, homeopathy, acupuncture, and more.

6. Helps moms who are having scheduled c-sections or high-risk pregnancies.

Doulas aren’t only beneficial to moms desiring unmedicated vaginal births. They can provide continual support to moms with high-risk pregnancies, planned inductions, and scheduled Caesarean births. They can also help provide breastfeeding support and postpartum resources to moms as doulas are trained to recognize postpartum depressions and other mood disorders that are very normal to occur after birth, especially traumatic ones.

7. Babies with higher Apgar scores.

Women who had doulas at their birth had babies who were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth. Their babies also showed a “14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery” (Evidence Birth).

8. Helps moms remember what they learned in childbirth class or wrote in their birth plan.

Doulas can also be there to remind moms of their birth plan, and keep them aware to when there may be changes to that plan. They can also remind moms to keep their rhythm in breathing, show fathers different ways they can massage the mom, and also be a calm and confident presence at the birth.

9. Shortens labor.

Research shows that women who had doulas on their birthing team had a “significantly shorter length of labor” (NCBI).

10. Increases chance for successful breastfeeding.

Those who received care by a doula were “more likely to breastfeed their newborns and to delay first infant formula feed” (NCBI), “more than twice as likely to be breastfeeding at 6 weeks” (NCBI), and more likely to continue breastfeeding till 18 months.

Interested in having a doula at your birth? Contact Lauren today to set up a complimentary consultation!

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