Why A Doula

Why A Doula

The American Academy of Family Physicians encourages the use of doulas because [they] decrease the need for pain medication, which in turn increases breastfeeding success rates. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourages the use of doulas because their use lowers cesarean section rates in hospitals. (Source: Gurevich, The Doula Advantage)

Effects on the birth outcome:

  • Labors are 25% to 50% shorter
  • There are fewer complications
  • Cesarean rates are reduced by up to 51%
  • There is a 40% less need for Pitocin to speed up labor
  • 71% reduction in use of oxytocin
  • Use of forceps is reduced by 57%
  • Women request less or no pain medications and epidurals (30% to 60%)

Effects on the parents:

  • Women report greater satisfaction with childbirth and their abilities to be a good mother
  • Mothers have more positive assessments of their babies
  • Less postpartum depression
  • 70% of couples were more satisfied with their relationship six weeks postpartum, compared to only 30% of couples without doulas

Effects on the baby:

  • Newborns have shorter hospital stays and fewer admissions to special care nurseries
  • Newborns breastfeed more easily
  • Facilitates affectionate bonding between mother and child postpartum

Effects on the healthcare system:

  • Obstetrical care costs are dramatically reduced
  • Women are pleased with the personalized care doulas offer
  • Nurses are less stressed knowing that there is a professional doula with the mother at all times
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, World Health Organization, Medical Leadership Council of Washington, DC, and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada all encourage the use of doulas

(Source:Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus: Mothering the Mother)


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