Supporting families throughout the childbearing experience.
A doula provides informational, emotional and physical support to assist women and partners throughout pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Connect with doulas in your area and access childbirth resources.
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Why Use a Doula?
Research finds continuous labor support results in shorter labors, less pain medication, fewer interventions and greater satisfaction. Excerpts from the Cochrane Review plain-language summary:
“Continuous support in labour increased the chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth, had no harm, and women were more satisfied…Supportive care during labour may involve emotional support, comfort measures, information and advocacy. These may enhance physiologic labour processes as well as women’s feelings of control and competence, and thus reduce the need for obstetric intervention. The review of studies included 21 trials, from 15 countries, involving more than 15,000 women in a wide range of settings and circumstances… Women who received continuous labour support were more likely to give birth ’spontaneously’, i.e. give birth with neither caesarean nor vacuum nor forceps. In addition, women were less likely to use pain medications, were more likely to be satisfied, and had slightly shorter labours. Their babies were less likely to have low 5-minute Apgar Scores. No adverse effects were identified. We conclude that all women should have continuous support during labour…”
Hodnett, E. D., Gates, S., Hofmeyr, G.J., Sakala, S., & Weston, J. (2011). Continuous Support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, 3. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub3
Read the complete Cochrane Review