Written for Premier Birth Tools by Missy David, the Honeybee Mama
Happy International Doula Month!
It is May, and in the birth world that means the celebration of International Doula Month! Premier Birth Tools LOVES doulas and all the work they do to support the rights and needs of childbearing women and their families and we want to celebrate.
What is a doula?
The DONA International website explains, “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; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.”
Benefits of Doula Support in Childbirth and the Postpartum Period
Both birth doulas (or labor doulas) and postpartum doulas assist families throughout the childbearing year. Lamaze’s third Healthy Birth Practice describes doulas and support persons as a valuable element of a birth that is both safe and healthy. In 2014, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) stated in the Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Obstetric Care Consensus Statement that “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.”
Benefits of Doula support include:
• Shorter labors with less complications
• Fewer negative emotions about the childbirth experience
• Less need for Pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), instrumental deliveries or surgical births (cesarean)
• Fewer maternal requests for pain medication and/or epidurals
• Feeling secure and cared for as a new parent
• Greater success in adjusting to changes of a new family
• Increased breastfeeding success
• More self-confidence
• Fewer incidences of postpartum depression
• Fewer incidences of abuse
How can you find a doula?
Simply performing a web engine search for doulas in your geographic location will hopefully give you some information about doulas in your area. Also, there are a few websites that are directories for doulas throughout the United States. Some of these are:
• DONA International – Find a Doula
• Doula Match
• CAPPA Labor and Postpartum Doulas
• ProDoula Labor and Postpartum Doulas
• ICEA Doulas
How Premier Birth Tools is Celebrating International Doula Month
Happy International Doula Month and three cheers for all the amazing doulas out there!