benefits of a labor doula
What is a doula?
A doula is an experienced, non-medical assistant who provides physical, emotional and informed choice support in prenatal care and support, during childbirth and during the postpartum period. A birth doula offers continuous care for labor in many settings, to include homebirth, birth center and hospital birth.
What is a postpartum doula?
The postpartum doula offers care in the home (nutritious cooking for the mother, breastfeeding support, newborn care assistance, maternal-child bonding support, errands, light housekeeping) the day after the birth, providing services through the first six weeks postpartum.
Why is a doula beneficial at birth?
According to DONA International:
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
- Have lower incidence of abuse