“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
~ John H. Kennell, MD
The Greek word doula means woman caregiver. We now use the word to describe a trained and experienced labor companion who provides the mother and her husband or labor partner continuous emotional support, physical comfort and assistance in obtaining information before, during and just after childbirth.
The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contributions to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers and infants. The benefits of having a doula include:
50% reduction in c-section rate
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in Pitocin use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
While your doctor or midwife and nurses are there to assist you, they have many other responsibilities including other patients, paperwork, even shift changes, and ultimately their main focus must be the safety of the mother and baby. These things are all very important, but they will take them away from the mother’s side. A doula’s only focus is to support the mother and her partner. See the “services” page for more details of that support.