This is a very personal question that can only truly be answered by the birthing woman. I am a strong advocate of INFORMED choice and have been frustrated often to hear from my expectant clients about the MISINFORMATION that they are often being given by varying care providers about what it means to have Doula Support. I have worked tirelessly on multiple occasions to compile evidence-based and balanced information for my clients who have shared with me that they WERE considering hiring a Doula but were ultimately told by their primary care provider that it was unneccessary, frivolous, or that there would be “too many cooks in the kitchen”.
This is why I was thrilled upon hearing from Neve Spicer of We The Parents who has done the leg work and compiled the science of Doula Support into an amazing Infographic and Blog where I can now direct my clients!
Neve was gracious enough to share this for our community! Follow the links to read more!
Science Agrees: Doulas Improve Birth Outcomes
Over the years, the birthing process has gotten turned around. We went from a society that respected and cherished natural childbirth to one that frowned upon it. Mothers were ushered off to sterile hospital rooms where they would spend their labor laying in a position unnatural to giving birth without emotional support and physical nurturing. These days, moms-to-be will be happy to know that the scientific community now backs up doula-support.
Stress-Free labor is beneficial to both the mother and her baby. Compelling studies have been done in recent years showing that mothers who have Doula support during labor experience a more relaxed state of being. This support results in pain reduction, shorter labor time, fewer cesareans, fewer instrumental deliveries, and a reduction in epidurals. Mothers with Doula support also feel more confident in their ability to handle the labor and birthing process. This support builds positive self-esteem that also carries over to the mother-baby bonding process.
The medical community also found that a baby born from a Doula supported mother has a higher Apgar score with fewer birth complications. Uncomplicated labor and birth provide a nurturing atmosphere for both mother and child so they can bond in positive mother-infant interaction. It has also been shown to boost early breastfeeding scores.
Both the scientific and medical communities have joined forces in their attempts to discover the benefits of Doulas. Their studies have been quite astounding, and We The Parents have a list of 17 of these evidence-based benefits of Doula Support.