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Labor Doulas: Part Two-The Benefits of Using a Doula

Part Two- The Benefits of Using a Doula

Most benefits of using a doula are pretty well known but some are less obvious.  Those of us who have used a doula would say we couldn’t have done it without her.  Clinical studies and research have given us a lot of information about the benefits of using a professional doula.  Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Can reduce labor duration and complications
  • Reduces interventions like Pitocin and cesarean section
  • Reduces the requests of pain medication
  • Reduces negative feelings about the birth

Even more rewarding are some of the emotional benefits of using a labor doula and postpartum doula.  A mother tends to feel more confident and secure, has more success with breastfeeding and tends to adapt better to the new family dynamic.  Finally, there are less incidences of postpartum depression.

Some people ask how a doula can benefit a woman choosing an epidural or cesarean section.  It’s a misconception that doulas are only for women choosing to go the natural birth route.  No matter what kind of birth you are going for, there will always be a need for comfort, support and assistance.  Not everything goes as planned during labor.  Having a knowledgeable and comforting professional there to support you will be very helpful.  Check with your provider to see if your doula will be allowed in the operating room.

When a long labor is over and the baby is safely born and everybody is exhausted and happy, it’s usually the new father/partner who is the first one to reach out and thank the doula by giving her a big hug.  We asked a new father about his personal benefit.  He said, “When considering a doula it is natural for the couple to think of how she would help the mom but, the benefits for the father are just as immense.  For example, our doula took turns with me applying pressure to my wife’s back and comforting her.  This allowed me to rest.  She also ensured we were all eating and drinking plenty, which I wouldn’t have been so good at.  Finally, at the hospital she is the couples advocate and helped us focus on a healthy delivery, translated hospital speak and totally looked out for me and my wife’s wellbeing.”

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