The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. In an article published in March 2014, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concluded: “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. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 12 trials and more than 15,000 women demonstrated that 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.”

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, vacuum extraction, cesarean section
  •  Reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals

Research shows that parents who receive doula 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 less postpartum depression
  • Have lower incidence of abuse