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Maggi Rohde, Doula
Dundee, Michigan


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- Why Choose A Doula? -

Finding The Doula For You

For Spouses and Partners

If You've Had A Cesarean


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Why Choose A Doula?

There are dozens of reasons to have a doula at your birth, but here are some of the most important:

Doulas stay with you for your entire labor. Nurses and other hospital staff are very busy with paperwork and other patients, and they work eight or twelve hour shifts. Consistant, continuous support by a doula during lab or shortens labor and reduces the need for medical intervention, including c-section. 1 But one study shows that nurses spend less than 10% of their time supporting their patients during labor. 2 You need a doula to give you the personalized support you deserve.

Doulas are clinically proven to make labor better. Several randomized controlled trials have shown that doulas often help make first-time labors shorter, safer and much more satisfying. Here are some impressive statistics from a Houston, TX study. 3

Doulas can help to:

  • reduce cesarean sections by 50%
  • shorten labor by 25%
  • reduce requests for pain medications by 40%
  • reduce requests for epidurals by 60%
  • reduce Pitocin use by over 50%
  • reduce the need for forceps by 40%
  • You can choose your doula. You never know if you're going to end up with the best nurse in the world, or Atilla the Hun in sensible shoes during your labor. When you choose your doula, you can find someone who you feel comfortable with, and who supports your own birth philosophy.

    Doulas speak their language. Doulas study the same books and journals that doctors and nurses do. They can explain tests, medications and other interventions to you, and help bridge some of the barriers of communication between you and the hospital staff.

    Doulas stay calm for you and your family. Doulas have been to many births, and they can empathize while still keeping an objective view. Both you and your spouse will appreciate the quiet, caring attention you'll receive from your doula.

    Even if your husband is there, doula support is unique and unparalleled. Studies have shown that doulas provide better support during labor than anyone else, including spouses, friends, doctors and nurses. 4 Spouses are almost always too emotionally involved to help during labor, 5 and they appreciate a doula's care just as much as their laboring partner does. See For Spouses and Partners for more on what spouses think of doulas.

    Her unique combination of experience, compassion and faith in the miraculous process of birth makes the doula an invaluable companion during labor and delivery. Doulas fill in the gaps in our hospital maternity care system, and help you to have the kind of birth you've dreamed about.

    Next Link: Finding the Doula for You


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

    (2) McNiven, P, Hodnett, E, O'Brien-Pallas, LL. 1992. Supporting women in labor: a work sampling study of the activities of intrapartum nurses. Birth 1992 Mar;19(1):3-8; discussion 8-9

    (3) Kennell, J, Klaus, M, McGrath, S, Robertson, S, Hinkley, C. 1991. Continuous emotional support during labor in a US hospital. A randomized controlled trial. Journal of American Medical Association 265(17):2197-2201. Comment in: JAMA 1991 May 1;265(1 7):2236-7 Comment in: JAMA 1991 Sep18;266(11):1509-10

    (4) Chalmers B; Wolman W, 1993. Social support in labor--a selective review. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 1993 Mar;14(1):1-15

    (5) Berry, LM 1988. Realistic expectations of the labor coach. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing. Sept/Oct:354-55.

    Click here for more citations to journal articles about doulas.

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