~ Benefits of a Doula ~
And how a woman is treated during this trans-formative experience ~ whether she feels cared for,
nurtured and empowered during birth or directed, coerced and ignored ~ matters more than whether a mother labors
with drugs or without, or whether her baby comes out vaginally or by Cesarean-section.”
~ Penny Simkin ~
According to The American Pregnancy Association
Numerous studies have documented the benefits of having a Doula present during labor. In a recent Cochrane Review, dated October 17, 2012, it was determined that continuous support for women during Childbirth, showed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a Doula was present. Having the support of a Doula, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, due to the touch and massage received for their Doula companions increasing the release of natural and true oxytocin. Women were less likely to have a cesarean birth, they experienced faster labor progression and women reported having a more positive and satisfying childbirth experience. Babies also scored better on their Apgar screenings.
A Care Provider and a Doula?
A Midwife or OBGYN is responsible for the care and safety of the mother and baby throughout pregnancy, during birth, and postpartum. A Doula is responsible for the emotional and physical support of the laboring woman and her family and/or postpartum care of the mother and baby. Doula care has been shown to improve outcomes for both moms and babies in many studies. The role of the Midwife and Doula are quite different in the labor process and most Midwives recommend that their clients consider having a Doula for their birth. A Doula comes earlier, stays longer after the birth, and provides hands on support to meet the emotional and physical needs of labor, whereas the Midwife is tending to the care and safety of the process for mother and baby. Having both the care of a Midwife and the support of a Doula, sets things in motion for the most positive and successful birth experience that you desire. Many OBGYN’s/Family Physicians are also discovering the great number of benefits in having a Doula attend to their clients during the labor process.
And like a Blooming Water Lily, her body will open …”
~ Shelby Miller, Doula