You Really Should Consider a Doula

"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use one."  John Kennell, Mothering the Mother

Doula's are nothing new.  Women have been attending women in birth since the beginning of time, it seems.  It wasn't until the early 1990's did we professionalize what should be common sense, but wasn't at the time.  When childbirth moved into the hospital, the U.S. all but lost this ancient female wisdom.  Technology was used in favor of one on one personal care and as a result increased rates of interventions were used to make up for the lack of this real, yet intangible care.

We are still dealing with this disconnect in the new century.  It turns out that technology can never replace real one on one caring and friendship.  The aspects of doula care, that of love, hands on comfort measures, trust and understand, translate into a safer and more satisfying birth for you.

What are the benefits of hiring a doula?*

  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 40% reduction in pitocin use
  • 50% reduction in cesarean section
  • 25% reduction in labor time
  • 30% reduction in additional pain drug use
  • Reduced chances of maternal fever and infection
  • Reduced incidence of postpartum depression
  • Parents have higher regard and increased sensitivity towards babies
  • Greater parental satisfaction with the birth
  • Increased breastfeeding success


"The father-to-be' s presence during labor and delivery is important to the mother and father, but it is the presence of the doula that results in significant benefits in outcome." (10)

 To learn more about doulas, please visit


*1. Scott KD, Berkowitz G, Klaus M. A comparison of intermittent and continuous support during labor: a meta-analysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1999 May 180:5 1054-9.

2. Kennell J, Klaus M, McGrath S, Robertson S, Hinkley C. Continuous emotional support during labor in a US hospital. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1991 May 1 265:17 2197-201

3. Scott KD, Klaus PH, Klaus MH. The obstetrical and postpartum benefits of continuous support during childbirth. J Womens Health Gend Based Med 1999 Dec;8:1257-64.

4. Keenan P. Benefits of massage therapy and use of a doula during labor and childbirth. Altern Ther Health Med 2000 Jan;6:66-74.

5. Wang D, Mao X, Qian S. Clinical observation on Doula delivery. Chung Hua Fu Chan Ko Tsa Chih 1997 Nov 32:11 659-61.

6. Zhang J, Bernasko JW, Leybovich E, Fahs M, Hatch MC. Continuous labor support from labor attendant for primiparous women: a meta-analysis. Obstet Gynecol 1996 Oct 88:4 Pt 2 739-44

7. Nolan M. Supporting women in labour: the doula's role. Mod Midwife 1995 Mar 5:3 12-5.

8. Gordon NP, Walton D, McAdam E, Derman J, Gallitero G, Garrett L. Effects of providing hospital-based doulas in health maintenance organization hospitals. Obstet Gynecol 1999 Mar 93:3 422-6.

9. Langer A, Campero L, Garcia C, Reynoso S. Effects of psychosocial support during labour and childbirth on breastfeeding, medical interventions, and mothers' wellbeing in a Mexican public hospital: a randomised clinical trial. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1998 Oct 105:10 1056-63.

10. Klaus MH, Kennell JH. The doula: an essential ingredient of childbirth rediscovered. Acta Paediatr 1997 Oct 86:10 1034-6.

11. Raphael D. Support and variation, the needs of the breast-feeding woman. Acta Paediatr Jpn 1989 Aug 31:4 369-72.

12. Barron SP, Lane HW, Hannan TE, Struempler B, Williams JC. Factors influencing duration of breast feeding among low-income women. J Am Diet Assoc 1988 Dec 88:12 1557-61.

13. Campero L, García C, Díaz C, Ortiz O, Reynoso S, Langer A. ''Alone, I wouldn't have known what to do'': a qualitative study on social support during labor and delivery in Mexico. Soc Sci Med 1998 Aug 47:3 395-403.

14. Manning-Orenstein G. A birth intervention: the therapeutic effects of Doula support versus Lamaze preparation on first-time mothers' working models of caregiving. Altern Ther Health Med 1998 Jul 4:4 73-81.



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