Why hire professional labor support? If you’re reading this page, you probably already know that the presence of a doula lowers the incidence of: cesarean delivery, instrumental birth, postpartum depression, and the use of Pitocin and pharmaceutical pain relief. Having doula care also increases: satisfaction with your birth experience, the likelihood of breastfeeding, and your confidence with your baby. In short,
“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” — Dr. John Kennell
A doula is a valuable investment in your health and safety as well as that of your baby.
A doula provides skilled, compassionate care to expectant mothers and their partners. Whereas your doctor, midwife, and nurse might be providing care to many women and therefore will not be with you for much of your labor, a doula is right there with you from the time you need her until after your baby is born.
A doula understands a laboring mother’s emotional and physical needs. She provides objective information to help mothers make the choices that are right for them. She offers reassurance, comfort, and emotional support as mothers make the transition from pregnancy to parenthood. She is skilled at hands-on physical support for a mom’s comfort, providing soothing massage, help with appropriate positioning and movement, and other means of comfort (from counterpressure to a cool washcloth placed at just the right spot.)
A doula does not replace the mom’s partner – she complements and supports him. A doula can take the pressure off a partner who may be feeling anxious about remembering everything he needs to do. Having a birth expert by your side means that dad can focus on the laboring mother and their shared birth experience. A doula is there to bring drinks, offer a back rub, and let dad have a needed break without guilt, knowing that the laboring mother is well cared for.
A doula also understands that women come to motherhood in various ways. If you are differently-abled, LGBT, a single mother without a partner, a teenager, or have particular social, religious, or physical needs, a doula provides care that is tailored to you and your individuality.