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What is a Doula?

The Birth Doula assists a woman and her partner during labor to help them cope with the physical and emotional demands of birth.

Why should I use a birth doula?

Numerous clinical studies have found that both mothers and babies benefit when a doula is present during birth, according to DONA (Doulas of North America), one of the foremost doula-accrediting organizations.

A worldwide study, involving more than 1500 women, found that mothers who received Doula support were the ones with the shortest labours.

The positive effects for mothers, according to these studies, include:

  • Shorter labors with fewer complications
  • Reduced incidence of cesareans
  • Reduced use of pitocin (a drug used to induce or augment labor)
  • Reduced use forceps or vacuum extraction (techniques to help with delivery)
  • Reduced requests for pain medication and epidurals
  • Reduced incidence of postpartum depression
  • Mothers report increased satisfaction with the birth process
  • Mothers make more positive assessments of their babies

The positive effects for babies, according to DONA’s review of the evidence-based literature, include:

  • Shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care nurseries
  • Babies breastfeed more easily
  • Mothers are more affectionate

A doula (/ˈduːlə/, also known as a labour coach and originating from the Ancient Greek word δούλη which is the feminine form of "slave") is a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her husband and/or family, by providing physical assistance, and emotional support.

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