What is a doula?
▶noun: a woman giving support, help, and advice to another woman during pregnancy and during and after the birth.
– origin mod. Gk, from Gk doulē ‘female slave’.
Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 Oxford University Press:
In Mothering the Mother Marshall Klaus, John Kennell, and Phyllis Klaus; the wonderful group of doctors that made the concept of ‘bonding’ a household term, (Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1993 Pages 33-51) describe the crucial evidence that supports the use of doulas.
It was from six randomized, controlled studies; two in Guatemala, one with 136 women, another with 465 women; a study in Houston Texas with 416 women and one with 192 women in Joahannesburg, South Africa. The fifth and sixth studies were done in Helsinki Finland and in Canada. All participants were primiparas women, they were all healthy and had had uneventful pregnancies. They were invited to participate when they were admitted into the hospital in labor.
The Guatamalen doulas were trained in a 3 week course, but in the South African study the women were untrained lay-women, they were all asked to remain with the laboring women constantly and use touch and verbal communication focusing on three primary factors: comfort, reassurance and praise. All of the doulas in the study had experienced normal labors and vaginal births.
Soothing words, touch, encouragement, explaining procedures and what could be expected to happen next, They also translated medical terms into laymens terms and did some very minimal charting – such as noting the number of staff contacts that the mother had and any interventions.
The results showed a:
- 50% decrease in cesarean sections
- 25% decrease in the length of labor
- 30% decrease in use of forceps
- 40% decrease in use of oxytocin
- 60% decrease in use of epidruals
- 30% decrease in use of pain medications (narcotics)
In addition, long term benefits of labor support include:
- Improved Breastfeeding
- Decreased Postpartum Depression
- Greater Maternal Satisfaction
- Better Mother-Infant Interaction
meet our affiliated doulas
We offer two ways for connecting with our affiliated doulas; either by attending one of our regular complimentary “Eat, Drink, DOULA” events at various locations throughout NYC and Austin OR through a private and complimentary meet and greet in a mutually convenient location. Visit our calendar of events to find information about our next “Eat, Drink, DOULA” open house or contact us to make arrangements for a private meet and greet.
for more info see DONA International
If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.
~ John H. Kennell, MD
Ask me for strength and I will lend not only my hand, but also my heart.