Supporting Women Through Pregnancy & Birth
ACOG (American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology) published a joint statement with SMFM (Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine) about the best ways to reduce the number of primary cesarean births - key among them being HIRE A DOULA! The study noted that “Increasing women’s access to nonmedical interventions during labor, such as continuous labor and delivery support, also has been shown to reduce cesarean birth rates.”
It continues with “Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.”
Also found in the statement was “…the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery.”
And finally,“Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized.”
Read the statement here.
What IS a doula?
From DONA International:
A birth doula is a person trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.
The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek, meaning “Woman’s servant.” Throughout history and in much of the world today, a cadre of women support a woman through labor and birth, giving back rubs and providing continuous emotional support. Like their historical counterparts, DONA International birth doulas know how to help a woman in labor feel better. However, today’s doulas are much more diverse than their predecessors. DONA International membership includes men and women from a wide range of ages and cultural backgrounds.
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction
reduces the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans
*Gaile is a Birth Doula serving Murrieta, Temecula, Hemet, Winchester, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Corona, Rainbow, Fallbrook, and Camp Pendleton.