The Benefits of Doula Care

The following is a student blog post by Samantha Feldman

 

The Benefits of Doula care:

 

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The Value of Birthwork. Learn how being a doula, postpartum doula, CBE can positively impact families.

What does a doula do? A doula provides constant and continuous care to a mother and her family before, during, and after pregnancy and delivery. They provide emotional comfort and offer pain relief techniques that include but are not limited to breathing, relaxation, massage, and a variety of laboring positions.

 

Doulas also help to facilitate and encourage partner participation with support and education. While doulas do not perform anything medical they have enough medical knowledge to help clients gain a better understanding of procedures and options so you can make better, more informed choices.

 

Most doula-client relationships begin early to mid-pregnancy. During this time, a trust is developed, where a mother and family members can feel free to ask questions, express fears, and concerns to facilitate openness about wants and wishes.

 

A doula acts as an advocate to help and encourage the mother to fulfill specific desires that she might have for her birth. The goal of a doula is to help the mother to experience a positive and safe birth, regardless if it’s natural, medicated, or cesarean.

 

When continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced,

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
  • 28% decrease in the risk of C-section*
  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*

 

Doulas are becoming the preferred option in pain relief. It’s been said that Women who have a doula are statistically more likely to feel less pain when a doula is present. (Caton, Corry et al. 2002)

References:

  1. Caton, D., M. P. Corry, et al. (2002). “The nature and management of labor pain: executive summary.” Am J Obstet Gynecol 186(5 Suppl Nature): S1-15.
  2.  “Continuous support for women during childbirth.” Cochrane database of systematic reviews: CD003766.
  3. Hofmeyr, G. J., V. C. Nikodem, et al. (1991). “Companionship to modify the clinical birth environment: effects on progress and perceptions of labour, and breastfeeding.” British journal of obstetrics and gynaecology 98(8): 756-764.
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