An investment in a doula maybe well worth it as she can:
According to research conducted by Klaus and his partner, John H. Kennell, MD, professor of paediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, the presence of a doula during the labouring process reduces the need for a caesarean by 50%, length of labour by 25%, use of oxytocin by 40%, use of pain medication by 30%, the need for forceps by 40%, & requests for epidurals by 60%. Comparable research studies on the effect of doula support have been analysed by precise statistical methods & published in the Journal of the American Medical Association & the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Increase the chance of spontaneous labour
- Reduce the risk of intervention such as instrumentally assisted birth.
- Studies show that pain relief requests are decreased & epidurals requested are reduced too
- Continuous support with a doula can reduce c sections by 50%
- Rates of breastfeeding successfully & for longer are higher with a Doula
- Shortens first-time labour by an average of 2 hours
- Partners can have a break to sleep, go to the loo or eat. Guilt-free he knows you’re in capable, protective hands. He can be part of the birth at a level he is comfortable with & can participate with confidence.
- Having a team makes a huge difference. One to hold onto & pass you water & one to massage your back
Findings from “Mothering the Mother”
Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, 1993
(Statistics appear in A Doula Makes the Difference by Nugent in Mothering Magazine (Kennell J, Klaus M, McGrath S, Robertson S, Hinkley C. JAMA 1991 May 1;265(17):2197-201 https://www.mothering.com/articles/a-doula-makes-the-difference/ )
From Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth by Marshall H Klaus.
Also having a doula present at birth helps fathers participate with confidence & increases success in breast-feeding. (Findings taken from “Mothering the Mother” by Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, 1993).
6 weeks after birth, mothers who had doulas were:
- Less anxious and depressed
- More confident with their baby
- More satisfied with their partner (71% vs 30%)
- More likely to be breastfeeding (52% vs. 29%
Other thoughts on why hire a Doula
- She works for YOU, not the hospital.
- She won’t get offended if you get upset or yell.
- Doulas can ensure that you have true informed consent & informed refusal.
- She helps your partner be more involved.
- She helps you write your birth plan. Helping you to focus on your personal wishes & preferences. Discussing the pros & cons for if there were to be any interventions.
- She can act as a human birth plan, reminding you of your preferences as needed.
- She can suggest changes to help labour progress.
- She believes in you & your body, even when you don’t. She reminds you that you can do it — that you are doing it.
- Doulas understand the importance of parent/baby bonding & will help facilitate this. Such as skin to skin & feeding.
- She can help you find the resources you need. She can help find professionals & groups in your area.
- She is someone to laugh, cry & reminisce with.
- Families who received doula care are more than twice as likely to report satisfaction with their care & their birth experience.
Birth is a big deal. You deserve it.
Some points by Lauren McClain