It is becoming more and more common these days for women to turn to doulas during their birthing journey. Doulas are advocates for the new mom and ensure that her goals are met during labor and delivery. They are not meant to replace the spouse, father or significant other in the room but offer additional support when it is needed. They work side by side with either the OB or midwife, either at home, in a birth center or at the hospital. They serve as coaches and help the birthing mom stay positive and focused.
There are many benefits to having a doula present at your birth including:
-A decreased need for interventions
-Enhanced maternal/infant bonding
-Enhanced positive feelings about the birthing process
-A shortened labor
-Decreased incidences of postpartum depression
-Increased empowerment on behalf of the new mom- Increased acceptance of the newborn baby
-Decreased incidence of neonatal complications
-A decreased need for medications
-Decreased fear, anxiety or tension with the parents
-Increased sense of control during the process
When birthing at the hospital, doulas have been shown to:
-Reduce the Cesarean rate by 50%
-Decrease the request for epidurals by 60%
-Decrease labor time by 25%
-Decrease the use of forceps by 40%
-Decrease the need for an induction by 40%
-Decrease the use of analgesia by 30%
Choosing your support system is a personal choice, one that you should put thought into.
Make sure to surround yourself with positive, calm people that will help you relax and not cause increased tension or anxiety in the room. Be empowered and have the birthing experience you want!