The Powerful Impact of Doulas: Supporting and Empowering Families Every Step of the Way
Are you wondering what the benefits of a doula are?
Bringing a new life into the world is an incredible and transformative experience. During this journey, expectant parents benefit greatly from the support and guidance of a doula. Doulas are trained professionals who provide physical, emotional, and informational support to families throughout the prenatal, birth, and postnatal periods. In this blog post, I will explore why doulas are so important and the significant impact we have on the entire journey.
Improved birth outcomes
Research consistently shows that the presence of a doula positively impacts birth outcomes. According to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, continuous support from a doula during labour and childbirth resulted in:
- A 31% reduction in the use of synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin, Syntocinon)
- A 28% decrease in the risk of Caesarean birth
- A 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
- A 34% reduction in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
(Source: Bohren et al., 2017)
These statistics demonstrate the significant role doulas play in promoting positive birth experiences and reducing medical interventions.
Enhanced Emotional Support
Pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period can bring a range of emotions, uncertainties, and challenges. Doulas provide invaluable emotional support to families, helping them navigate these transitions with confidence and peace of mind. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing found that having a doula present during labour was associated with:
- Decreased levels of anxiety and fear
- Increased satisfaction with the birth experience
- Improved self-esteem and maternal-infant bonding postpartum
(Source: McGrath et al., 2019)
These findings highlight the profound emotional support doulas offer, leading to more positive and satisfying birth and postnatal experiences.
Advocacy and Informed Decision Making
Doulas are strong advocates for their clients, ensuring that their voices are heard, respected, and empowered throughout the entire journey. They provide evidence-based information, answer questions, and help families understand their options, enabling them to make informed decisions that align with their values and preferences.
According to a study published in Birth, having a doula present during labour and birth resulted in:
- Increased satisfaction with decision-making
- Enhanced communication between families and healthcare providers
- Increased likelihood of feeling well-prepared for birth
(Source: Kozhimannil et al., 2013)
By offering unbiased support and promoting informed decision-making, doulas empower families to actively participate in their own care.
“Hannah really did go above and beyond for both my partner and I throughout our whole pregnancy journey. We found the course really helpful learning techniques and being more informed on every aspect of birth and what comes with it. Hannah also acted as our doula at the birth and without her support and knowledge our birth story would’ve been a lot different. We are so lucky that Hannah helped guide us to have a birth as close to our birth plan as possible through her expertise and management of the hospital staff.”
Building Your Birth Team
The impact of doulas on the prenatal, birth, and postnatal journey is undeniable. Through improved birth outcomes, enhanced emotional support, and advocacy for informed decision-making, doulas play a vital role in empowering families and promoting positive experiences.
The evidence-backed benefits of having a doula present during this transformative time are clear, making their support an invaluable asset for expectant parents.
If you’re looking for professional and compassionate doula support, reach out to me today. Experience the power of having a knowledgeable ally by your side, supporting and empowering you throughout your journey into parenthood.