what is a doula?
"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it" John H. Kennell
The primary role of a doula is to provide women with continuous emotional, physical, and informational support throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery.
why have a doula?
Childbirth is a very emotionally charged event, and nobody knows exactly what labor will be like, even if they have given birth before. Having someone there who is experienced in childbirth can be comforting. A doula recognizes the physical and emotional aspects of labor, and provides reassurance and help with comfort measures.
Statistically speaking, doulas provide a significant benefit with respect to overall outcomes. Having a doula present has been shown to result in:
Doulas have been shown to result in mothers having greater satisfaction with their birth experience, more positive assessments of their babies, and less postpartum depression. The presence of a doula also results in shorter hospital stays and fewer admissions to special care nurseries for babies, babies who breastfeed more easily, and mothers showing more affection toward their babies postpartum.**
**Source: DONA International