Doula Benefits Infographic
of families can benefit from professional support offered by a DONA certified doula!
Benefits of a Doula
From the beginning of time, people have been cared for and nurtured during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Family, friends and neighbors from the community would rally around the new family to help guide them through their tender early weeks and months with a new baby.
Today, we’ve expanded and professionalized these roles! DONA International is the world’s leader in training, certifying and supporting birth and postpartum doulas everywhere.
Read below for more information about the role of birth and postpartum doulas!
Doulas help make birth better!
They nurture, support and offer expert guidance for families during their pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum time. There is incredible evidence that shows how birth doulas improve outcomes!
According to a 2017 Cochrane Database Systematic Review, “Continuous support in labor may improve a number of outcomes for both [the birthing person] and baby, and no adverse outcomes have been identified. Continuous support from a person who is present solely to provide support, is not a member of the [person’s] own network, is experienced in providing labor support, and has at least a modest amount of training (such as a doula), appears beneficial.”
The Birth Doula’s Contribution to Modern Perinatal Care
Research shows that people who use a birth doula are:
less likely to need Pitocin
less likely to have a cesarean birth
less likely to use any pain medication
more likely to rate their childbirth experience positively
What do birth doulas offer?
Position ideas for comfort and labor progression cross over with hands-on comfort measures like comforting touch, counter pressure, breathing techniques and other “doula magic” for families. A doula’s skilled hands and positioning tools can often help a malpositioned baby find its way through the pelvis and into the birthing parent’s arms.
Doulas help families to feel supported, easing the emotional experience of birth and also helping to create a space where the hormones of labor can work at their best. Whether a birth is completely unmedicated or medically very complex, every family can benefit from nurturing and connection at this tender, incredible time in their lives.
Whether it’s a romantic partner, a friend or another family member like the baby’s grandma, the birth partner’s experience matters in birth. Our doulas are there to support every birth partner in being as involved as they’d like with the birth. Physical and emotional support make a huge difference for everyone involved.
Evidence-Based Information and Advocacy
DONA International doulas are trained to help families connect with evidence-based resources so they can ask great questions and make informed decisions about their births. Our doulas serve as a bridge of communication between their client and their providers, lifting them up to help them find their voices and advocate for the very best care.
All families benefit with a birth doula on their team!
ACOG Weighs in on the Benefits of Continuous Labor Support
“Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula. Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized.”
Have you heard of the fourth trimester?
It’s that tender, incredible time after a baby is born, when families benefit from extra care and support. A lot of monumental shifts happen during that fourth trimester! From woman to mother, man to father… Parents of one, to parents of two or more…
The postpartum doula is there to support families as they move into their new roles.
What do postpartum doulas offer after the birth?
The transition into new parenthood can be vulnerable, and postpartum doulas are experts in emotional support, active listening and encouraging their clients to follow their own hearts. Empathy, a hug or even a good laugh together can do so much for a new parent!
Evidence-Based Information and Support
Postpartum doulas are trained to understand what new babies – and new parents – truly need. The doula helps with soothing techniques, offers lactation or bottle feeding support, and explains normal newborn behavior and postpartum recovery expectations.
It’s all hands on deck with a new baby, and postpartum doulas can help the days go by more smoothly by helping with the baby’s laundry, doing the dishes or preparing simple, nourishing meals.
Partner and Sibling Support
A new baby means transition for everyone, including parents, grandparents and little brothers and sisters. Postpartum doulas understand what everyone needs, and part of their role is to help the entire family adjust and settle in.
All families benefit with a postpartum doula on their team!
The Postpartum Doula's Role in Maternity Care
Life with a new baby or babies doesn’t have to be overwhelming. DONA International’s postpartum doulas help families nestle in and find their groove. Studies show that this kind of support can help in the following ways:
help reduce postpartum mood disorders
improve breastfeeding success