The benefits of doula support
Doulas make a difference. Did you know dozens of studies have been done on doulas? Having a doula actually has a significant statistical impact on things such as c-section rates, epidural use, and breastfeeding initiation.
What difference does it make?
All studies and resources are referenced at the bottom of the blog. Here is a summary.
Think about that. Having a doula increases your chances of having the natural, vaginal delivery many women want. It’s a worthy investment. It’s also an investment that can prevent you having to pay for surgery. Doulas improve outcomes. Doulas also improve the birth experience. Here are some other benefits of doula support.
Professional organizations for obstetricians and nurses are also in support of doulas.
“Evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-to-one emotional support provided by support personnel, such as a doula, is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor. Benefits described in randomized trials include shortened labor, decreased need for analgesia, fewer operative deliveries, and fewer reports of dissatisfaction with the experience of labor.”
Approaches to limit intervention during labor and birth. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 766. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2019;133:e164–73.
“Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 12 trials and more than 15,000 women demonstrated that the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery. Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized.”
Safe prevention of the primary cesarean delivery. Obstetric Care Consensus No. 1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2014;123:693–711.
“AWHONN recognizes that childbirth education and doula services contribute to the woman’s preparation for and support during childbirth and supports consideration of these services as a covered benefit in public and private health insurance plans.”
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
AWHONN position statement: Nursing support for laboring women.
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing. 2010; 40: 665-666 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01288.x
Did you have a doula? What benefits did you experience from professional support? Share your story in the comments below.
Are you considering hiring a doula? Did you know about all these benefits? How can doula support benefit you in your birth?