A doula can provide significant support to you and your partner throughout your journey to parenthood. Last week we talked about what a doula is and the support services they provide for pregnant women during pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum. If you are considering working with a doula, we want to help you make an informed decision.
Research has shown that continuous support from a doula may:
• Decrease the use of pain medications during labor and delivery
• Reduce the need for Pitocin, a labor-inducing drug
• Decrease the incidence of C-sections and the use of forceps
• Result in shorter labor and delivery with fewer complications
• Allow moms and partners to feel supported
In addition, women who had continuous support from doulas gave birth to babies who were less likely to have low five-minute Apgar scores.
Is there anything a doula can’t do?
A doula can be a great addition to your care team, however a doula cannot provide medical advice or replace your health care provider.
What about your partner?
A doula will not replace your partner. In fact, a doula can support your partner or family member to become as involved in the birth process as you desire. A doula can help teach your partner how to comfort and support you during the birth process.
Where can you find a doula?
• To find a certified doula near you, use DONA’s online locator or visit Doulamatch.net.
• Ask your health care provider or child birth instructor for a referral or information on how to find a doula.
• Contact your local hospital or health department for a referral.
• Ask your social network or health care team about free or low cost doula services. Insurance coverage for doula fees vary by plan. Some doulas offer free services and many communities offer volunteer doula programs supported by federal and city funds.
Have any questions? email or text us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.