Why to Consider Including a Doula in Your Birth Experience

January 17, 2021

By Jane Chevalier

What is a Doula, you ask? A Doula is a trained birth professional who helps mama undergo her physical, emotional childbirth experience, providing information & resources along the way (DONA International 2021). There are various reasons why hiring a doula is beneficial. Not only does a hiring a doula have a direct impact on mama, but it can be helpful for the entire family. Doulas are the bestie you never knew you needed during pregnancy & birth.

Prior to birth, Doulas can:

  • Help you create a “Birth Plan” or “Birth Intention”
  • Offer a different perspective from your OB or Midwife
  • Act as a sounding board
  • Answer questions about birth in general

During birth, Doulas can:

  • Suggest helpful birthing positions
  • Be your emotional cheerleader and offer reminders as to why you chose your particular birth setting and birth team
  • Provide hands on Massage in the best spots
  • Offer comfort tools (essential oilsTENS unitRebozo Sifting)
  • Give your partner a break, “tapping in”

Post birth, Doulas can:

  • Help you process your birth experience
  • Bring your birth story to life
  • Provide postpartum treats & tools

Evidenced Based Research shows Doulas significantly improve health outcomes for mama & baby such as (Bohren et al. 2017, McGrath and Kennell 2008 and Kennell et al. 1991):

  • Increased chances for an unmedicated birth
  • Shorter labors
  • Fewer interventions (C-sections, medications, and medical instruments)
  • More positive birth experiences
  • Healthier Apgar scores for baby

Ready to start your search? Check out The List for my personal recommendations and Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Doula

References

Brohen et al. July 6 2017. “Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth.” Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. Accessed January 17, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub6

DONA International. 2020. “Benefits of a Doula.” Accessed January 17, 2021,  https://www.dona.org/what-is-a-doula/benefits-of-a-doula/

Kennell, John. “Continuous Emotional Support During Labor in a U.S. Hospital: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” JAMA, 265, no. 17 (May 1991): 2197-2201. Accessed January 17, 2021, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2013951/

McGrath, Susan and Kennell, John. “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Continuous Labor Support for Middle-Class Couples: Effect on Cesarean Delivery Rates.” Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, 35, no. 2 (June 2008): 92-97. Accessed January 17, 2021, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18507579/

Patel, Shivani. April 10 2018. “Essential Oils: A Pain Management Alternative for Labor and Delivery.” UT Southwestern Medical Center. Accessed January 17, 2021, https://utswmed.org/medblog/essential-oils-pregnancy/

Pregnancy Birth & Baby. January 2020. “TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation).” Accessed January 17, 2021, https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/tens

Spinning Babies. 2021. “What is Rebozo Manteada?” Accessed January 17, 2021, https://www.spinningbabies.com/pregnancy-birth/techniques/other-techniques/rebozo-manteada-4/

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