Still on the fence about the need for a doula at your birth? While there are many reasons a doula comes in handy during labor and delivery time, here are ten pretty convincing ones.
1. You’ll be less likely to see the OR. Women who have a doula-attended birth are 40 percent less likely to have a caesarean section, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health.
2. You are more likely to begin labor on your own, avoiding induction. Often called the “induction seduction,” inducing labor can be the first in the domino effect leading to a host of interventions that may or may not be necessary. If you’ve got a doula by your side you are 31 percent less likely than a woman without a doula to have Pitocin (synthetic oxytocin) to induce labor, according to a robust study published in The Cochrane Library, which looked at 21 randomized controlled studies involving more than 15,000 women.
3. Your chances of a shorter labor are better. Having continuous support from a doula meant women experienced shorter labors in a study published in the journal Nursing for Women's Health. Now if you are excited about the possibility of a 48 hour birth then by all means don’t hire a doula.
4. You are less likely to use pain medication. While doulas would love to take your pain away completely, pain in inevitable in childbirth. However, doulas have a lot of tricks up their sleeves which result in moms seeing a 9 percent decrease in the use of any pain medications and a 60 percent reduction in epidural requests specifically.
5. Doulas make your hubby look like a rockstar (and he’ll be thankful too!). Most men outside of a Nicholas Sparks novel are terrified at the thought of being the “birth partner.” Doulas do a great job of making your man shine, because after all knowledge is power. From massage techniques to counterpressure, your doula will be sure your guy is equipped with the same tools she is to help you through each contraction. And in labor, four hands are better than two.
6. You’ll enjoy your birth experience. Like it or not, the birth of your children is a memory that is with you for a lifetime. Make it a good one and hire a doula! Once again, according to Cochrane research, women with a doula were 34 percent less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively. While healthy mom and healthy baby are the end result, your birth experience matters.
7. Your birth will be less likely to see assistance from forceps or assisted delivery tools. Sometimes forceps or a vacuum can save a baby and mom from a cesarean birth. It’s great to know that moms who work with doulas also have a 40 percent reduction in the need for forceps or assisted delivery, according to findings published in Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth by Kennell, Klaus, and Kennell (1993), a book the American Pregnancy Association considers recommended reading on doula care.
8. Your baby will reap the benefits. Having a doula at your birth reduces your chances of your little one being admitted to a special care nursery by 14 percent.
9. Because there is literally no statistical evidence that having continuous support at your birth results in negative outcomes for mom or baby.
10. What are you waiting for? Hire a doula. :)