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What is a Doula and Why Should I Consider Hiring One?

The Purpose

As opposed to healthcare providers, doulas are a pregnancy and labor support role that offers education and support through pregnancy as well as continuous labor support to both the birther and any potential partners involved with the process of childbirth. Doulas are trained to understand the mechanics of labor and aid the birther throughout the process in a way that not only keeps labor progressing but also keeps the birther calm and comfortable.

Doulas typically use labor support techniques such as counter pressure, massage, body positioning, affirmations, nourishing and hydrating the birther, bringing inviting smells into the room, and keeping the atmosphere comfortable.

The Pros

The Cons

Doula support has been associated with lower rates of cesarean section (Kozhimannil, et al., 2014).

Doulas are not medically trained and cannot provide any type of medical intervention during the process of pregnancy and/or childbirth. This means that you will need to find a licensed provider such as a midwife or OBGYN to additionally be present at your delivery.

Doulas understand labor patterns and can prevent labor from stalling by the use of body positioning as well as physical support.

Depending on average rates, doula care can be an additional cost that is not attainable by all birthers.

Can help bridge the gap of time between when labor becomes intense to when the midwife and the birth team arrive and allow to birther to be supported by a professional.

Continuous labor support has been recorded to increase the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal delivery by 15% (Dekker, 2022).

10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief (Dekker, 2022).

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