What is a Doula?
Doulas provide physical, emotional, and informational support to a birthing parent and their family before, during, and after birth. They are advocates to ensure that health care happens with the patient rather than to the patient.
The Benefits of Having a Doula:
The benefits of including doulas are well-documented with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noting that “continuous labor support by a doula is one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes”. Studies have shown that having a doula present results in decreased rates of cesarean sections, shorter labors, lower administration of pain-relieving medications, and a higher likelihood of patients reporting having had a positive birth experience. A study conducted by the NCBI found that doula-assisted parents were four times less likely to have a low birth weight baby, two times less likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their baby, and significantly more likely to breastfeed their baby.
Authentic support for community based doulas includes: