Friday, May 24, 2013

What are the Benefits of Having a Doula

"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.

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