What is a doula?

this is a great article by Peggy O'Mara about doulas, 
what they do, what's the difference between a birth and postpartum doula, 
benefits, training, how to find one and also good questions to ask when interviewing a doula. 

 "Childbirth is not the time to tough it out. The research is overwhelming: we do better when we have companionship and support. Choose a midwife who can provide this and/or look for a doula to complement your maternity care. And, don’t forget the often overlooked postpartum period. You may need help more then than during the birth. Be kind to yourself."  Peggy O'Mara

The benefits of doulas have been shown in 22 randomized controlled trials in several countries, and the results reported in highly respected publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Most of these trials noted that touch and words of encouragement were particularly effective tools used by doulas. Women reported more positive evaluations of the birth experience and felt more relaxed during labor when they received continuous and experienced woman-to-woman support.
Here are some of the specific benefits of birth doulas.
  • Reduce your labor time by 25%
  • Reduce your chances of having a cesarean by 50%
  • Reduce the likelihood that you will need medical interventions such as pitocin, forceps, or vacuum extraction by up to 40%
  • Reduce the likelihood that you will ask for pain medication or an epidural by as much as 60%
  • Increase your chance that labor will progress normally
  • Increase the chances that you will feel satisfied with your birth experience
  • Decrease the likelihood that you will experience postpartum depression
  • Improve your bonding experience with your baby
  • Help you to breastfeed with greater ease
Check out the full article here


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