A Doula provides continuous support to the laboring woman and her partner.
What is a Doula?
The word Doula comes from the Greek language meaning “woman servant.” Today we use the name Doula as a “woman caregiver.” A Doula provides continuous support to the laboring woman and her partner.
Before labor, the Doula will meet with the mother and partner to help write a birth plan, discuss birth wishes, and answer any questions they may have about the birth. Once in labor the doula can discuss medical recommendations with you and offer options, support you in your choices and act as an advocate for your decisions. Your doula will encourage relaxation, position changes, pain management and comfort measures to decrease the discomforts of labor where possible.
Most Doulas offer a postpartum visit, at which point they discuss physical and emotional healing, assess and offer help with breastfeeding and newborn care.
Research studies reveal the presence of a doula can lead to a:
- 60% decrease in use of epidurals
- 50% decrease in cesarean sections
- 40% decrease in use of pitocin
- 30% decrease in use of pain medications (narcotics)
- 30% decrease in use of forceps
In addition, long-term benefits of a doula include, but are not limited to:
- Improved breastfeeding
- Decreased postpartum depression
- Greater maternal satisfaction
- Better mother-infant interaction
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