What are the benefits of having a doula?
Studies have documented the benefits of having a doula present during labor. You have a better chance of having positive memories of your birth experience when a doula supports you during labor and delivery. A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, showed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. With the support of a doula, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to have a cesarean birth, and reported having a more positive childbirth experience.
Other studies have shown that having a doula as part of the birth team results in:
- 50% reduction in the cesarean rate
- 25% shorter labor
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 40% reduction in oxytocin
- 30% reduction in analgesia use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
And 6 weeks after birth, mothers who had doulas were:
- Less anxious and depressed
- More confident with baby
- More satisfied with partner (71% vs. 30%)
- More likely to be breastfeeding (52% vs. 29%)
**Taken in part from American Pregnancy Association