Effects of a Doula on the outcome of your Childbirth:
- There are fewer complications
- Women request less or no pain medications and epidurals (30% to 60%)
- 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
- Newborns have shorter hospital stays and fewer admissions to special care nurseries
- Newborns breastfeed more easily
- Facilitates affectionate bonding between mother and child postpartum
- 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 for childbirth.
A birth doula will.....
............meet with the woman and her partner before birth to discuss the couples’ birth desires. Through the counseling and teaching of the doula, fear of birth is replaced by confident anticipation as the couple begins to see all the choices that encompass pregnancy, childbirth and the early postpartum period. Finally, it has been found that couples who have continual, compassionate support during labor and birth, whether they have the birth they desired or had a complication or an unanticipated outcome, are more satisfied with their birth and more able to bond with their baby.
Is your doula certified?
Experience in the field of childbirth is very important when you hire a doula. However, it is good to ask her where she gained her information, training and certification as well as her experience. Hiring a doula who is certified enables you to trust her responsibility to an organization which is expecting her to report her births, continue her education and protect their name as well as her own.
A certified doula also has knowledge in subjects beyond basic labor and delivery: She knows the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, birth and lactation. She can explain to you the meaning of prenatal testing and hormonal changes you are experiencing. She also has resources on nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding, special dietary needs and prenatal changes to expect. Her critical thinking and medical terminology, gives her an advantage when she needs to communicate regarding hospital procedures and policies. She has studied stages of labor, positions and comfort measures for labor as well as pregnancy and postpartum exercises. Lastly, she has the respect and confidence of the hospital staff.
Certified doulas are birth professionals and are more than willing to tell you about their certifying organization and their qualifications. When interviewing your doula, ask about her experience and her certification.