What is a Birth Doula
A doula is a trained individual, that knows the emotional, physiological, and mental aspects of birth.
A doula is NOT like a midwife. A doula does not provide any medical care, or advice. There are some doula's who have multiple fields which include herbalism and nursing, which may allow for medical/herbal prescriptions. However, this is not the main realm for a doula.
A doula is NOT just like another family member who is there to help. Doulas are trained in evidence-based information around birth. They are trained in reducing the pain - fear - tension cycle.
Studies show doulas CAN promote:
25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean
8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average
38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score
31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
Doulas CAN help facilitate more bonding between birthing parent and partner during the birthing process. A doula CAN allow for a partner to rest so that they have the energy to bond and be supportive during the birth process.
A doula is a part of your birth team, which includes a trained baby "catcher"(midwife or OB), your partner/family member/friend, labor and delivery nurses, lactation specialists.