Birth doulas make a big difference! Women who hire a doula have increased positive outcomes for their birth choices. As your doula, Shallin supports you to have the birth experience you desire. Through her professional knowledge and experience, Shallin is your continuous support and resource, offering comfort measures, encouragement and evidenced-based information.
Did you know birth doulas also increase outcomes after birth? Women who have a birth doula experience more time with their baby, higher rates of establishing breastfeeding and less postpartum depression is reported.
What a doula does do
- Unbiased support of client's birth choices, regardless of personal beliefs
- Provides evidence based information
- Professional support and resource for the mother and family
- Continuous support, reassurance and empowerment
- Offers comfort measures such as, but not limited to: calming breathing techniques, movement, position changes, rebozo technique, counter pressure, verbal and nonverbal reassurance, and more
- Knowledge of relaxation measures such as massage, warm baths or showers, warm or cool compress, music, or lighting changes
What a doula does not do
A doula has a different role than an obstetrician or midwife, who do provide maternity care. Birth doulas do not perform any medical or clinical tasks or diagnosis related to prenatal, labor, or postpartum care for mother or baby. A doula’s role is strictly for continuous, unbiased, and professional emotional, informational, and physical support of the mother and family.
In 2011, the most recent and largest systematic review of continuous labor support was conducted by Hodnett and Collegues. This review included 15,000 birthing women in 21 randomized controlled trials.
The clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants were greatest when the support person was not a member of the hospital staff or the woman’s social network (spouse, partner, other family member, or friend), but a continuous labor support person, such as a doula. The benefits were:
- 28% less likely to have a cesarean section
- 31% less likely to use synthetic oxytocin to speed up labor
- 9% less likely to use any pain medication
- 34% less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively
Women in the study who birthed without continuous labor support were more likely to:
- have an epidural or other "regional" analgesia to manage pain
- use any type of pain medication (including narcotics)
- give birth by cesarean section
- give birth with vacuum extraction or forceps
- give birth to a baby with a low APGAR score rating of well being 5 minutes after birth
- be dissatisfied with or negatively rate their childbirth experience (Hodnett and colleagues 2011).
For more information about the Hodnett and Collegues study, please visit here.
For DONA International’s position on the benefits of doulas, please read their Birth Doula Position Paper here.