“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
– Dr. John H. Kennell
DONA International Founder
Countless scientific trials examining doula care demonstrate remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and baby. Doulas have a positive impact on the well-being of the entire family.
The most substantial results are below:
- Lower the Pitocin usage by 31%
- Lower Cesarean Births by 28%
- Increases Successful V-BACs by 12%
- Increases Non-Medicated Births by 9%
- Reduces the Need to Admitted New Borns by 14%
- Reduces the Rate of Dissatisfied Labor and Birth by 34%
To Sum the above: A birth Doula allows you the best chance to have the birth you want. You will remember all of your birth experiences for the rest of your life. While you should/ will be excited to meet your new baby and just want them to be healthy, the labor and birth are mostly all about you: the woman who is bringing the new life into the world.
The International Doula Institute says the following personal characteristics make great doulas:
- A love of and joy for babies
- A love of and joy for moms
Past work history that contributes to successful doula work:
- Social Worker
- Early Childhood Education
- Psychology Major
- Registered Nurse
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Any helping professions
Thinking of the people whom have the above characteristics or have careers in those fields, would you like them helping you with your birth? I know I would. Who doesn’t want someone taking care of your every need, treating you like a queen, and watching your progress through labor and childbirth? A birth doula is trained in the proper progression of labor and birth, so they can reassure you that you really are doing a great job and that your decisions are right for you.
Now you may be thinking “Ok, well she just described a birth doula’s job and I can sort of see why I’d like one but what about a postpartum doula?”
Well let me tell you: After you’ve had a major life event don’t you want people around you that will care and tend to your needs? For instance, before weddings people through parties and are always around to help you plan. For a death, the closest family is brought together and cared for. Why not for a birth? It used to be that way in America, but over the past few decades the trend has changed to where after the first day or two new mothers are left to their own devices.
Solitude after birth does not promote healthy relationships. It does allow for postpartum depression, a disconnect from the new baby, and longer recovery times. With families spread out accross the states, it can be unreasonable for grandparents, siblings, or family friends to stay with the new parents for an extended period of time; This is where a postpartum doula comes in. They will come to your home, mother the mother, supporting her in her new parenting role.
You may feel like you need or should do it all but you don’t have to, nor should you feel guilty for not being able to take on the world. Find the support that you need, wheather it be family, friends, or a postpartum doula.