If you are planning on having a baby, you should know that having a doula by your side could mean a shorter labor with fewer complications. When moms have a doula (experienced childbirth support person) they are often happier with their birth experience and tend to have healthier babies who breastfeed more easily.
“The American Academy of Family Physicians encourages the use of doulas because doulas decrease the need for pain medications, which in turn increases breastfeeding success rates. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourages the use of doulas because their use lowers cesarean section rates in hospitals. Other organizations that encourage the use of doulas include the World Health Organization, the Medical Leadership Council of Washington, D.C., the nonprofit Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. (Jukelevics, 2002)”
The Doula Advantage by Rachel Gurevich
What about the Dad?
Doulas do not take the place of the dads. Many times the father wants to be actively involved but isn’t sure exactly how to best help his partner. A doula can help the father get the most out of this special time. By having a doula there, a lot of pressure is taken off the dad’s shoulders. There is another person present who knows what is normal during labor and can offer suggestions of comfort techniques to try. Instead of taking the dad’s place, the doula often offers guidance and makes suggestions to help the dad take a more active part in his child’s birth. With a partner and a doula, the mother can have the best of both worlds; the love and attention of her mate and the doula’s experience and guidance in childbirth.