Women have complex needs during childbirth and the weeks that follow. In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences. DONA International doulas are educated and experienced in childbirth and the postpartum period. Doulas are prepared to provide physical (non-medical), emotional, and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth, as well as to families in the weeks following childbirth. Doulas offer a loving touch, positioning and comfort measures that make childbearing women and families feel nurtured and cared for.
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, forceps, vacuum extraction and cesareans
- Reduces the mother's request for pain medication and/or epidurals
Research shows parents who receive support...
- Feel more secure and cared for
- Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
- Have greater success with breastfeeding
- Have greater self-confidence
- Have decreased postpartum depression