BENEFITS OF BIRTH DOULAS

Research highlights the benefits of labor support provided by a birth doula for the mother and the family.  Examples of these benefits include:

  • Labor being 25% shorter
  • 50% less risk of undergoing a Cesarean section
  • 60% reduction in an epidural being requested
  • 30% less usage of any pain reducing medication
  • 40% decrease in receiving Pitocin or having a forceps assisted delivery

Other research has shown that at six weeks postpartum, women who had a birth doula are:

  • 22% more likely to breastfeed exclusively
  • 47% less likely to have breastfeeding problems
  • Have significantly less anxiety and depression and higher self-esteem
  • Have significantly higher perceptions of their baby and of themselves as mothers

Klaus, Marshall H., John H. Kennel, and Phyllis H. Klaus. Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth. Cambridge: Da Capo P, 1993. Print.

Klaus, Marshall H., John H. Kennel, and Phyllis H. Klaus. The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth. Cambridge: Da Capo P, 2002. Print.

 

 

According to the recent review "Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth" that was published in 2011 in the Cochrane Library, the following positive outcomes for women who had continuous one-on-one support during childbirth were reported. 

 

These women were more likely:

  • To have a spontaneous vaginal birth
  • To have shorter labors
  • To report satisfaction with their birth experience

These women were less likely:

  • To have regional analgesia
  • To have any analgesia/anesthesia
  • To give birth with vacuum extraction or forceps
  • To give birth by cesarean section
  • To have a baby with a low 5-minute Apgar score

Authors of this study conclude: All women should have support throughout labor and birth! (www.childbirthconnection.org)

 

BENEFITS OF POSTPARTUM DOULAS

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.

 

Parents who use a postpartum doula:

  • Feel more secure and cared for
  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
  • Have greater success with breastfeeding
  • Have (higher) greater self-confidence
  • Have less postpartum depression
  • Less incidence of child abuse