Studies have identified that women who receive continuous care during labour have higher rates of spontaneous vaginal birth, shorter labours, less pain relief requests, lower rates of medical intervention and more.
Studies have also shown that doulas help birth partners to feel engaged and involved with the birth
Research undertaken in the US (Kennell & Klaus) has also identified the below additional benefits to women having the support of a doula:
50% reduction in caesarean rate
25% shorter labour
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in oxytocin use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
Improved breastfeeding outcomes
Decreased incidence of postpartum depression
Greater maternal satisfaction
Better mother-infant interaction
Supporting Women through
Pregnancy and Birth
WHAT IS A DOULA?
A Doula \DOO-luh\ is an experienced, trained birth worker who offers emotional, practical and educational support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth.
The purpose of a doula is to help a woman to have the most satisfying, safe, memorable and empowered experience possible during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new parent. A doula will essentially “mother the mother”.
A doula's support helps the whole family to relax, adapt to and enjoy the experience.
As birth becomes ever-more medicalised there is far less continuity of care, this is particularly evident in a transient ex pat city such as Dubai where many of us live far away from family & close friends. Hospital staff are often dealing with more than one labouring woman at a time and of course changing shifts, leaving them unable to provide continuous one on one care to the labouring mother.
A doula provides invaluable support during the antenatal period and continuous support through the birth itself, enabling parents to make informed birth choices, signposting relevant research-based information and being a reassuring presence.
Postnatally, she is able to provide the support that women used to expect of their families and community in times gone by. She can give confidence as the new mother learns how to respond to her baby's needs, recovers from birth and finds her feet.
Doulas do not offer medical care, but instead provide a service that helps women and their partners to feel empowered, in control and fully able to relax.