What is a doula?
noun: doula; plural noun: doula
a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.
The word doula is from the ancient, Greek meaning "a woman who serves". The practice of being a doula has been around for centuries. As of 2010, the role of doulas in birth and postpartum has increased dramatically. Today doulas do many of the same tasks that doulas did years ago. They provide emotional support and physical comfort during birth. Their presence allows for rest and recovery time after the birth. They offer education in many areas such as breastfeeding and infant care. Assisting with family adjustment , meal preparation and light housework also encompass their realm of support. This education and support empowers the new parents to better embrace their new role!
With the above being stated, there are well known benefits to having a birth and/or postpartum doula.
50% reduction in cesarean birth
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in pitocin use
30% reduction in analgesic use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
Klaus, Kennell, & Klaus
The Doula Book, 2003
*private consults, support and education for breastfeeding
*longer duration of breastfeeding
*less occurrence of postpartum depression
*faster adjustment to new family dynamics
*increased self confidence
*feeling of security and being cared for