Why Hire a Doula?

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“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”

John Kennel

What is a Doula?

Doula (pronounced doo-lah) is a Greek word meaning “women’s servant.” (While not all birth givers identify as female or women, I feel the origins of the word are still useful). A labor or birth doula is a formally or informally trained support individual who provides a range of support to those who are pregnant, birthing, and postpartum and focuses on them with continuous one-on-one attention during labor.

Doulas have been around in one form or another since the dawn of humankind (even some non-human mammal species have been observed laboring with “birth attendants”!). This article adeptly details the history of birth attendant work.

Some birth/labor doulas may choose to refer to themselves as a labor companion, labor support specialist, birth professional, birth/labor assistants, birth coach, birth consultant, or birth keeper.

What I Can Do For You as Your Labor Neighbor

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Why a Doula is Important

A doula can be a vital asset to any birth!

“In a 2012 survey that took place in the U.S., 6% of birthing people said they used a doula during childbirth (Declerq et al., 2013), up from 3% in a 2006 national survey (Declerq et al., 2007). Of those people who did not have a doula but understood what they were, 27% would have liked to have a doula.” – Evidence Based Birth

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Via Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, Evidence Based Birth

Partner’s Role in Birth

“My husband (partner) is my left hand and my doula is my right.”

Doulas Making a Difference

“In one landmark study that evaluated the effects of doulas and fathers working together, researchers found that combining a supportive partner and a doula significantly lowered the mother’s risk of Cesarean compared to just having a supportive partner alone. In 2008, McGrath and Kennell randomly assigned 420 first-time mothers to have routine care (including a supportive partner) or care that also included a professional doula whom they met for the first time during labor. […]”

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“The results showed a substantial improvement in outcomes for women who had both a birth partner and a doula, compared to having a birth partner alone. The Cesarean rate for these first-time mothers was 25% in the group with a partner only, and 13.4% in the group with a partner and doula.” – Evidence Based Birth


From Birth Boot Camp:


Additional Resources

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