Numerous studies have documented the benefits of having a doula present during labor. A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, showed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. With the support of a doula, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered and less likely to have a cesarean birth. Women also reported having a more positive childbirth experience.1
Studies have also shown that having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of artificial oxytocin by 40%, and requests for an epidural by 60%.2
The presence of a doula can be beneficial no matter what type of birth you are planning. Many women report needing fewer interventions when they have a doula. The primary role of the doula is to help mothers have a safe and pleasant birth–not to help them choose the type of birth.
Your birth choices are your own and are always supported by your doula.
1. Childbirth Connection
2. Hodnett ED. Gates S Hofmeyr GJ. Sakala C. Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. CD003766, (2003).
3. Klaus, M., Kennell, J., Klaus, P. Mothering the Mother.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, (1993).