I am often asked why have a doula?
Well research has shown some of the benefits of continuous care that is provided by a doula are......
- A shortened labour time
- Reduced chance of needing a Cesarean
- There is less pain relief needed
- And far less chance of medical intervention (i.e forceps or episiotomy etc)
The birthing mother is likely to have a more positive birth experience leading to less chance of post natal depression.
And her partner is likely to feel more confident and supported which leads them to also have a more positive experience.
As many partners feel they are happier being there "just" to experience this wonderful event with the women they love, rather than being responsible for her comfort and emotional security. This is a very important relationship and as a doula I promise never to come between this.
Updated Systematic Review of the Effects of Continuous Labor Support
published in The Cochrane Library in 2010
The review found that women who received continuous support during labor were more likely to have shorter labors and to give birth spontaneously. They were less likely to have a cesarean, give birth with a vacuum extraction or forceps, have analgesia or anesthesia and tended to express less dissatisfaction with their experience. Care providers who were not a part of the birthing mother?s social network, or a part of the hospital staff (in cases of hospital births), seemed to have the most impact on assessed outcomes.
Why Dads Need Doulas
Dads are often not sure about having a doula i.e...Why do you need a doula?... What does a doula do that I can't...? I'm here to support you why is there a need for a doula? etc...
I was once told by a dad-to-be, that he felt having a doula at a birth like taking out an insurance policy... If everything is going well they are a supportive, positive figure in the back ground, but if something out of the ordinary happens they come into their own and you are really glad they are there.
As a doula I would never get in the way of the relationship between mum and dad.
Here is a really good article I read on a website, written by a dad who had a doula.
Why dads need doulas
When my wife told me that she wanted a doula, I was hurt. I truly thought with our first baby that I?d be able to be the end all be all for my wife. She showed me the research. She let me meet some of the doulas. I still wasn?t convinced that it would be the right choice for us. I subscribed to the ?If you weren?t at the conception, you shouldn?t be at the birth rule.? My wife wound up vetoing me. Here are the reasons I?m glad that she did:
A doula can spell you.
I really thought I?d be able to stay awake for a big event like childbirth?..I was physically tired and mentally shot. The doula really helped me out.
A doula remembers what she learned in childbirth class.
I paid attention in childbirth class. I?d hear enough horror stories?..But when push came to shove, no pun intended, the knowledge went out of my brain.
A doula knows the questions to ask.
When we arrived at the hospital, everyone was bombarding us. Questions were flying from all directions. I was busy trying to help soothe my wife, who was not happy with the bumpy car ride to the hospital. Our doula stepped in and gave them all the information that they needed?..Our doula also was very helpful in getting information.
A doula speaks the language of labor (labour)
Our doula was an amazing translator?..I?d ask our doula, who would carefully explain each part of what had been said.
A doula keeps you calm.
Hard. Labor was so hard. And that?s just how it felt to me. Thankfully, when the going got tough and my wife was in hard labor, it was difficult for me to keep anything in my brain. I forgot everything from childbirth class and all I could think of was ?Surely this isn?t normal!? Our doula would smile at me from across my wife on the birth ball and as if she had read my mind, would mouth the words ?This is normal.? Her calm smile helped me focus again on loving on my wife and keeping her calm. She showed me how and where to touch, she made me the star in my wife?s eyes.