"Doulas can empower women to achieve the best birth outcomes possible, and all outcomes—for births, infants, and mothers—seem to be affected more positively if support is provided by a doula in addition to the medical personnel." Kenneth J. Gruber et al, Impact of Doulas on Healthy Birth Outcomes, The Journal of Perinatal Medicine, Winter 2013
Why doulas help (Read more here)
The presence of a knowledgeable, not emotionally invested person, such as a doula, in your birth space can help to maintain a calm, quiet environment in which you can labour at your own pace. Childbirth is initiated and progresses due to hormones. Prostaglandin, oxytocin and endorphins are released in order to stimulate contractions of the uterus and dilation of the cervix. Stress can cause the release of adrenaline which inhibits the hormones’ release and may slow down or stop the natural process. A doula can help you make decisions about your needs and wishes and help you to communicate those, helping you to stay calm. She can help your partner to be able to focus on you, and the arrival of your baby, without worrying about logistical, practical issues.
There is evidence to show that having a doula can mean:
Reduced risk of Caesarean birth†*
Reduced risk of instrumental birth†*
Reduced need for painkillers or epidural during birth†*
Reduced rate of induction of labour†*
Shorter labour †
Increased parental satisfaction with the birth experience†
Increased likelihood of initiating breastfeeding*
Increased likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding & breastfeeding at 6 weeks*
*Brigstocke S. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, vol 24, no 2, 2014, pp 157-160
†Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr G, Sakala C. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 7. Art. No. CD003766. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub5
Why use a Doula?
Why might you benefit from having a birth doula?
A doula will support you throughout your labour, from your first proper contractions until you are happily settled with your new-born. We don’t work shifts or have to attend other women. She will help to hold your birth space as a calm and positive place, whether at home or at hospital, where you can move as much or as little as you want to, make as much or as little noise as you want to and do things your way. She will support your partner to help you, and enable them to rest when necessary and take an active role in the birth. She is on your side, by your side, from start to finish.