According to a 1993 study, these are some of the benefits of having a doula at your birth:
25% reduction in the length of labour
30% reduction in requests for pain relief
60% reduction in epidurals
50% fewer caesarean sections
40% reduction in instrumental deliveries
Fathers and mothers feel more satisfied with the birth.
Increased success in breastfeeding.
Mothers who have a doula present rate the birth as less difficult and less painful than women not supported by a Doula.
Scott, Klauss and Klaus: Journal of Women's Health, December 1999
2008 Survey Results:
© Goedkoop V. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, vol 19, no 2, June 2009, pp 217-218
Out of 735 births
• Primiparous women (first time mums) 48%
• Natural births (with no induction, medicated pain relief, augmentation and instrumental deliveries) 45%
• Ceasarean section 15% (versus 24.3% nationally)
• Epidurals 20% (versus over 30% nationally)
• Inductions 10% (versus 20% nationally)
• Vaginal birth after a caesarean section success rate 70%
• Labour in a pool 23%
• Successful home births (no transfer) 19%
• Breastfed at birth 86% (versus 76% nationally)
• Doula was single birth partner 11%
The survey also included data from postnatal doulas:
• 88% of women who had a postnatal doula were still breastfeeding at 6 weeks and 67% were still breastfeeding at 6 months (This compares with 21% at six weeks and 7% at three months according to the Infant Feeding Survey of 2005 (Bolling et al 2007).)
Doula UK An association of doulas run by doulas for doulas. Includes geographical listings of all members, recognised training courses and extensive research and articles.
BabyCalm (TM) BabyCalm Classes and Workshops - Calmer Babies & Happier Parents
Birth Choice UK Where you choose to have your baby and whom you choose to look after you in labour will affect the type of birth you have and the care you receive. Includes maternity statistics for UK hospitals.
Home Birth Reference Lots of information and research on home birth in the UK. Lots to interest those planning a hospital birth, too.
AIMS Association for Improvement in the Maternity Servies can help if you experience problems having your wishes met.
National Childbirth Trust Offers support in pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.
The VBAC Pages Initially written for women considering home VBAC, also relevant to those planning hospital birth.
Caesarean Birth and VBAC Information Research-based information and support on all aspects of caesareans and VBAC.
La Leche League Helping mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information and education.
The Breastfeeding Network Providing breastfeeding support and information.
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers Providing breastfeeding support by mothers for mothers.
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Library of articles about building a family