What is a Doula?

alexbirthWomen remember their births for their entire lives. It is a profound, and life changing experience that leaves an indelible mark.

We know that for centuries, women had the support and nurturing care of other experienced women to help them through their birth process. Birth Doulas provide this valuable service for the benefit of women and their partners. They offer continuous physical, emotional, and informational support for mom and partner throughout the labor, birth and immediate postpartum. We know from the many studies that have been done throughout the world that a Doula’s presence during labor and birth improves the outcome for mother and baby.

Proven Benefits of Doula Care

Women who had doulas were:

  • More likely to give birth spontaneously (without vacuum, forceps or by cesarean)
  • More likely to have shorter labors
  • More likely to give birth without pain medication
  • Less likely to report negative feelings about their childbirth experience

6 weeks after birth, mothers with doulas were:

  • Less anxious and depressed
  • Had more confidence with baby
  • More satisfied with partner
  • More likely to be breastfeeding

*Results taken from “Continuous support for women during childbirth.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011 as well as previous study from 2003, available on childbirthconnection.org

For more about the research, see DONA International’s Position Paper by clicking below.

  1. DONA Position Paper
  2. DONA: “What is a Doula?”
  3. Wikipedia