WHAT IS A DOULA?
A doula is a professional labor assistant. The word "Doula" comes from
the Greek word meaning woman’s servant. The word refers to women experienced
in childbirth who provide physical, emotional support and information to make
informed choices during labor and delivery.
Doulas do not perform clinical tasks such as blood pressures, fetal heart checks,
or vaginal exams. They offer reassurance, perspective, suggestions for labor
progress, help with relaxation, massage, maternal positioning as well as other
techniques for comfort.
BENEFITS OF A DOULA
Eleven studies showed the following effects of doula support:
- Labors are shorter.
- There are fewer complications.
- Cesarean rates are reduced by 31.1%.
- There is less need for oxytocin to speed up labor.
- Use of forceps is reduced.
- Women request less pain medication and epidurals.