Baltimore Mothers Benefit from Doula Support

Baltimore Mothers Benefit from Doula Support

Many Baltimore families are finding doula support to be a huge factor in having easier, more satisfying births.  A doula, pronounced doo-lah, is a professional trained to support laboring people physically, emotionally, and informationally during pregnancy, labor, and shortly after birth.

Research has shown, mothers and babies who receive support continuously throughout their labor are more likely to have better outcomes and birth experiences.  Mothers receiving support from a doula have been shown to have higher incidence of spontaneous vaginal births and are less likely to receive pain medication or augmentation such as Pitocin

In fact, the statistics supporting the use of a doula are hard to ignore.  In fact, Dr. John H Kennel says, “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”

 

What Does the Research Say?

Mothers using a doula have a:

50% reduction in cesarean rate

25% shorter labor

60% reduction in request for epidurals

40% reduction in augmentation by Pitocin

*Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth, by Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993)

 

What Does a Doula Do?

A doula can help prepare a family for birth by meeting prenatally to discus birth options.  With the help of a doula, a mother can create a birth plan, which can be used as a communication tool to discuss birth preferences with her partner and care providers.  A doula can provide a wealth of knowledge leading up to and during birth, such as helpful information on testing, common interventions, and their uses.  During birth, your doula can suggest beneficial labor positions and comfort techniques, as well as hands-on support, which can be especially helpful in keeping mom calm, relaxed, and comfortable.  

A doula does not communicate with hospital staff on your behalf, make medical decisions, or perform clinical task such as cervical checks, IV administration, or checking fetal heart tones. 

 

“But isn’t my partner there to support me during birth?  Isn’t the doula taking their role?”

Hiring a doula can be just as helpful for the partner as it is for the laboring mother.  While couples learn so much useful info, including comfort techniques for labor in birth classes, sometimes doulas can take the pressure off the partner, so they can focus on what they do best, which is loving mom.  It is beneficial for the partner to have someone else to rely on in times when he isn’t sure how to help or needs to take a break to eat or use the restroom.  The doula and the partner are part of the birth team and work together harmoniously. 

 

Carmen Calvo, owner of The Nurturing Root, provides families with birth and postpartum support through childbirth education, doula, and placenta encapsulation services.  If you are considering adding a doula to your birth team, contact The Nurturing Root for a consultation to discuss how they can help you have a smooth transition into parenthood.