What a Doula Can Do For You
Women supporting women through labor is an ageless tradition to all cultures.
Only recently in the long story of humanity has the linkage of knowledge and reassurance between generations of birthing women been broken.
Pregnant women today often find themselves without ties to female relatives who can reliably teach them what to expect from child bearing. Knowledgeable doulas can do a great deal to provide pregnant women with information and alternatives so that they may give birth with confidence, strength, and joy. Laboring women who feel confident and supported are much more likely to achieve satisfying outcomes than are women without such support. Doulas are trained to support women and their families by:
Helping expectant parents formulate what is important to them during labor and birth, and working cooperatively within the birth team to help them realize these goals.
Providing practical suggestions for working with contractions and pain to help mothers relax, including emotional support, variations in position, touch and massage, and other labor support techniques.
Helping the birthing mother’s partner/spouse participate more fully in the experience by augmenting their ability to provide support.
Advantages of Labor Support
Recent controlled trials including over 1000 women demonstrate that the presence of a trained labor assistant or doula results in:
50% decrease in Cesarean Sections
25% decrease in length of labor
30% decrease in use of forceps
30% decrease in use of pain medications
40% decrease in use of pitocin
60% decrease in use of epidurals
Compiled from “Mothering the Mother”, by MH Klaus, JH Kennell & PH Klaus; 1993