As a former statistician, I love ‘numbers’ and find these stats compelling! Doulas improve outcomes and increase the possibility of having a positive birth experience. Many on hospital staff appreciate the extra attention given to their patients and the greater satisfaction women expressed when assisted by a doula. In the 1970’s Drs. Kennell and Klaus discovered that introducing a doula not only improved the maternal and infant bond but decreased the incidence of complication. Isn’t that amazing!?
According to the DONA position paper and Cochrane Review published in 2012 by Hodnett and colleagues, when continuous labor support is provided by a doula, women experience a…
- 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin
- 28% decrease in the risk of a C-Section
- 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
- 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- 14% decrease in the risk of her newborn being admitted to a special care nursery
- 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
Doulas ‘mother the mother’ and they ‘support your support’. The continuous presence of a doula meets the woman’s emotional needs by facilitating communication between the laboring family and the medical team, giving reassurance and encouragement, and actively listening as symptoms and feelings change. Physical needs are met when the doula explains and performs non-medical pain management techniques to provide comfort. Doulas keep the room calm and help women to feel that they are involved in the decision making process. Partners can get a break to get some air, take a walk, get some food, check on the dog or other children all while mom remains supported.
Doulas are the perfect ‘go-to’ support…
- When you just need to hear some words of encouragement
- When you just have a quick question about the process
- When you just want to send a text and hear that everything is normal
- When you just need to know how to articulate your goals
- When you just want a quick definition
- When you just want to run through a potential scenario so you feel prepared
- When you just want to know when it’s time to go in
- When you just want to close your eyes and focus on yourself
- When you just want to be reminded that you have a voice in your birth experience
- When you just want to know that your partner is taken care of as well
Complete Your Team…
Of course, your hospital and birth center staff will make sure that mom and baby are on track. They are constantly evaluating things like blood pressure, fetal heart tones, and contractions to make sure everyone is progressing well. And Thank Goodness for that!! Doulas seamlessly blend in with your staff, often pitching in to change sheets, untangle cords, reposition the bed, and get those ice chips. We also know your goals for a positive birth experience, so we tailor our skills to you as an individual with one-to-one care.
When you are working through the inevitable emotions of labor and need comforting attention, I am there to provide…
- Options for mobility
- Counter pressure relief
- Calm environment to decrease anxiety
- Coaching on breathing techniques
- Partner breaks for food, fresh air, the puppy at home
- Suggestions for position changes
- Partner inclusion in supporting you
- Heating/cooling comfort methods (heating pad or cool washcloth, etc)
- Relaxation techniques
- Encouragement to increase confidence
- Reliability of continuous support
- Candid photos or photos of the newest family member
What Should I expect after I hire Lila?
We will schedule 1 or 2 prenatal meetings and I’ll ask you to fill out an Intake form so that we can quickly get on the same page with all the basics. Let your OB/midwife know that I will be attending the birth with you. Add me to your contacts so that you can easily call/text any time you have a question or if something comes up. Expect to feel relieved and taken care of.