First, what is a doula?

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Some of you might be wondering what a doula is. A birth doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical and emotional support to the mother before, during, and just after birth.  

 

Why have a doula?

According to DONA International, Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications

  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience

  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans

  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals

 

What does the partner do if there is a doula?

A doula does not replace the partner, rather the role of the doula is to support both the birthing woman AND her partner.  If a partner wants to provide hands-on support throughout labor, a doula will offer reassurance and possible suggestions as well as breaks when needed.  If the partner is more hands-off, the doula will step in and provide hands-on support.  In many situations the doula and partner work side by side to give the support needed.