"Good advice for my birth plan. Stretches for my sore back. And a late-night house call when I was having early labor pains." Marcie from South Riding was thrilled with her Doula, "Having a doula was like having my own expert on speed dial!"
Doulas provide physical, emotional, and informational support during child birth and after. Their goal is to help you have the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible, yet their help doesn’t involve any medical care.
Many expectant moms opt for a doula to complement the services of their doctor or hospital. They like having the additional support from someone who focuses solely on them. Plus, research has shown that having a doula on your team can benefit both parents and baby.
A scientific review of six studies involving more than 2,000 women, indicate that with the continuous support of a trained doula, women’s’ length labor length decreased by 25 percent and:
- Epidural use decreased by 60 percent
- Cesarean sections dropped by 50 percent
- Oxytocin use decreased by 40 percent
- Forceps use decreased by 40 percent
The key is that a doula’s knowledge and birth experience can ease anxiety, helping mothers and their partners navigate the options available, work through challenges, and decide what is best for them.
Doula support is ideal for any expectant woman or couple: Busy or working moms who don’t want to Google every question or decision...first timers overwhelmed by the amount of information and advice they receive about the birth experience… moms with other little ones at home...or who find themselves with a squeamish or anxious partner...or those without a partner or family nearby.
Worried that a doula equals natural childbirth or no medical intervention? Lay your concerns to rest. Select a doula with values close to your own, knowing that her job is to support your choices, not choose for you. Then relax knowing you have someone who will listen carefully and offer evidence-based information as guidance.
"When my doula walked in to my hospital room, I felt myself relax. She stayed with us the whole time I was in labor," says Marcie. "And when I came home from the hospital, she was there to help me get settled in. No doctor or nurse would do that."
Talk to your OB or pediatrician for recommendations about experienced doulas in your area. Their support may just what your birth experience needs. This information was provided by StoneSprings Hospital, a world-class option for great beginnings.