Doulas are awesome. Plain and simple. These incredible women provide invaluable service to mothers around the world. A more natural birth experience is on the rise and for good reason. Check out these seven reasons why you need a doula!
Women with doulas are less likely to have C-Sections
Who wants a C-section? C-sections are expensive, intensive, and result in a long recovery time. This major surgery is on the rise throughout the US, despite the advances in technology and medical knowledge regarding birthing. In a review of studies published from 1968 to 2012, researchers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found significant data supporting the reduction of cesarean sections in women who used doulas during labor. In three studies, doula support in labor was associated between a 5%-22% reduction in C-sections. Another study found a reduction of 20.6%, and yet another found a reduction of 34.2%! Any way you slice it, having a doula improves your chances of delivering your baby naturally.
Doulas save you money!
In an age of ever-rising medical costs, a study published by the Wisconsin Medical Journal, found an estimated $29 million dollars could have been achieved for every low-risk birth were attended in-hospital by a professional doula! An estimated cost savings of $424 per delivery or $530 dollars per low-risk delivery.
Birth is expensive enough! Doulas actually save you money! Choosing to work with a doula is an investment, but one that rewards handsomely.
Doulas reduce labor time and result in fewer medical interventions
A study published in 2005 shows that the presence of a doula during labor resulted in fewer epidurals and shorter labor time. The study supports the role of the doula in the birthing process and encourages institutional changes to provide doula support to laboring women.
Doulas reduce rates of tears and deliveries via instruments
Doulas provide focused labor support to laboring mothers. Women who received doula support were 41% less likely to give birth with vacuum extraction or forceps and 25% less likely to experience painful tearing of the vagina and proximal muscle and skin structures. A less painful birth and quicker recovery were associated with doula support.
Doulas result in more personal support from the fathers-to-be
Doulas allow fathers-to-be to support their partners physically and emotionally while doulas assist the mother during the labor process. This way, the partner can provide the personal support mothers so desperately need while having their birthing needs tended to by a certified professional. This study showed that the fathers remained further away from the mothers than doulas and talked and touched less. The father provided far more personal support while the doula resulted in significant benefits in outcome.
Women who use doulas report greater self-esteem, less depression, and a higher regard for the babies compared to women who don’t use doulas
At 6 weeks after delivery a greater proportion of doula-supported women were breastfeeding, reported greater self-esteem, less depression and a higher regard for their babies. Furthermore, doula-supported women held a much higher regard for their ability to care for their babies compared to the control mothers who opted for no doula support during birth.
Doula-assisted mothers are four-times less likely to have a low birth weight baby
In this study published in 2013, doula-assisted mothers were four times less likely to have a low birth weight baby, two times less likely to experience a birth complication, and significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding. The study suggests communication and encouragement from the doula increased the mother’s self-esteem regarding her ability to impact her own pregnancy outcomes.
Convinced yet? Check out our directory of doulas and midwives here and find someone local to help you during your pregnancy journey!