What does a doula do?
Doulas “mother the mother.” Doulas:
- Provide emotional, physical, and informational support
- Use comfort measures: breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning, counter pressure, rebozo
- Continuously reassures and comforts the mother. A doula never leaves the mother’s side.
- Help the mother become informed about various birth choices
- Help facilitate communication between the mother and care provider
- Look after the mother’s partner as well (gives them bathroom breaks!), but their primary responsibility is to the mother
- Helps the mother’s partner be effectively involved in the birth process
When continuous labor support is provided by a doula, mothers experienced a:
- 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin
- 28% decrease in the risk of C-section
- 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
- 9% decrease in the use of pain relief medications
- 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
- 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience