The doula world danced when the updated Obstetric Care Consensus: Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery was released in February by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM). Doulas were mentioned several times as an effective tool for reducing cesarean rates. DONA International has issued a press release celebrating the recognition of the role and effectiveness of doula support. The release begins:

“Every May since 1998, doulas and their supporters celebrate International Doula Month to recognize the role and benefits of professional labor and postpartum support personnel. This year, the celebration is particularly sweet since doulas have recently been described by two leading physician groups as playing an important role in reducing the nation’s cesarean birth rate and improving overall labor and delivery outcomes. Research indicates that continuous physical, emotional and informational support before, during and just after birth by a trained and experienced professional has significant benefits to both mother and child. Earlier this year the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal – Fetal Medicine (SMFM) issued a joint statement, ‘Obstetric Care Consensus: Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery’ to address the nation’s rising surgical birth rate. The statement provides new guidelines for maternity care providers for the management of pregnancy and labor aimed at reducing the rate of cesareans. Doulas were highlighted as both an effective and underutilized solution to improving labor and delivery outcomes.”

You can find the full press release on the DONA International website here: http://www.dona.org/PDF/ReleaseDoulasKeytoReducingCesareanRates_0514.pdf