Do You Need a Doula?

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Written by Patricia Newton

A Doula is not someone who simply holds a laboring woman's hand. Doulas are trained and experienced professionals who are invaluable to the woman and her partner in many ways.

You may benefit from Doula Services if any of the following statements apply to you.

bulletYou view childbirth as a natural occurrence rather than a medical problem.
bulletYour support person wants to help you during labor, but doesn't know how. (Doulas recognize the importance of support people and help partners help the woman, rather than push partners aside.)
bulletYou are without a support person.
bulletYou are afraid of labor.
bulletYou are concerned about the pain of labor.
bulletYou would like to avoid certain medical interventions, including a cesarean birth.
bulletYou like the thought of having a knowledgeable professional attend to you and only you continuously, throughout your labor.

Statistics show that Doulas have considerably positive effects on labor such as:

bullet50% reduction in cesarean rate
bullet25% shorter labor
bullet60% reduction in epidural requests
bullet40% reduction in oxytocin use
bullet30% reduction in analgesia use
bullet40% reduction in forceps delivery

Source: Mothering the Mother: how a doula can help you have a shorter, easier, and healthier birth. (Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, 1993.)

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Last modified: 03/02/08