To me, the benefits of a Doula can be summarised in three main points:
A Doula enables you to experience one-to-one support during your pregnancy. Care focused solely on you.
Continuity of Care
Sometimes it is not always possible to see the same midwife throughout your pregnancy. A Doula sees you right the way through, enabling you to build trust and strong communication.
A Doula is there to support you in whatever way you need. To answer your questions about birth, keep you grounded through labour, cook you a meal during those busy first few weeks…
There are even more statistical benefits to having a Doula:
- – Her presence shortens labour by an average of two hours
- – The use of synthetic pain relief is significantly reduced
- – Induction of labour by syntocinon drip (synthetic oxytocin, often referred to as synto or syntocin) is reduced
- – The chances of having a c-section are HALVED
- – The use of forceps is reduced by 40%
- – Women are 60% less likely to request an epidural
- – She encourages fathers to feel more confident and involved in the birth process
- – The chances of successfully establishing breastfeeding are increased
Statistics sourced from: Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, 1993
The benefits of having a Doula are also individual to each family. To one family, I may be the person to light the candles, ensure there are enough blankets, turn the music on/up/off and protect their birthing space. To another family, I may be the person holding the birthing woman’s hand, encouraging her through contractions. Another family may only wish for me to provide them with antenatal and postnatal support, but not attend the birth.
Whilst the benefits a Doula provides to each family vary, one fact remains the same – A Doula is an important part of your birthing team. As a Doula I am not there to replace your midwife; she does a fantastic job! I am not there to replace your partner; they know you intimately and can support you in different ways. Together we make up your support network – encouraging you and holding you through the Childbirth Year.
My lovely Doula colleague, Helena has written a great blog post about why a Doula is worth paying for.
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