A doula provides physical, emotional, and educational support to both the pregnant women and their partner. They work with a family prenatally to prepare for the birth, stay for the duration of the labor (whether be at home, in a birthing center, or at a hospital) and assist with the postpartum adjustment. Doulas encourage, normalize, massage, coach and act as a living resource guide. They bear witness to the amazing transformation that birth is.
Randomized studies of 15,000 women showed that doula-supported women were
- 28% less likely to have a cesarean section
- 31% less likely to use synthetic oxytocin (pitocin) to speed up labor
- 9% less likely to use any pain medication
- 35% less likely to rate their childbirth experiences negatively
Source: Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Weston J . “Continuous support for women during childbirth.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Feb 16; (2):CD003766.