"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.".
~John H. Kennell, MD
In my last post I explained a bit of what a doula does, for this post I wanted to show some benefits in having a doula at your birth; whether you birth in a hospital, in a birthing center, or at home. Mothers giving birth vaginally as well as via c-section both benefit from having a doula at their birth.
Let's get right to the statistics:
Doulas reduce the labor time, reduce the need for medication, and reduce the need for cesarean. Plus, there is the added bonus of a women there to support you.
Studies have also shown:
- 50% reduction in cesarean birth
- 30% reduction in requests for pain medication
- 60% fewer requests for epidural anesthesia
- 25% decrease in the length of labor
- 30% decrease in use of Pitocin
- Reduction of medical cost
- Increased breastfeeding success
- Greater overall satisfaction
Source: Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus, Mothering the Mother, New York, Addison-Wesley, 1993.
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth
- tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
- reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
- reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
- reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
Research shows parents who receive support can:
- Feel more secure and cared for
- Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
- Have greater success with breastfeeding
- Have greater self-confidence
- Have less postpartum depression
- Partner's have more confidence in their ability to assist in the birth.
Suggested Reading: The Doula Book Klaus, Kennell and Klause
If you are pregnant I would be honored to speak with you further on the benefits of having a doula at your birth.