What is a Birth Doula?
A Doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.
A Birth Doula:
Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life.
Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor.
Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth.
Stays by the side of the laboring woman from the point of being summoned, until after the birth of the baby.
Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions.
Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical care providers.
Perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman’s memory of her birth experience.
Studies have shown many benefits of birth doula care, including:
- Improved physical and psychological outcomes for mother and baby
- Shorter labors
- Less use of synthetic oxytocin
- Fewer cesarean births
- Fewer deliveries using forceps and vacuum extractors
- Fewer requests for pain medication
- More successful breastfeeding
- More positive postpartum outcomes for mother
- Greater satisfaction with birth experience
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