Evidence-based practice is very important to me. I have compiled some information from studies that have been completed showing the effectiveness and benefits to having doula support during birth.

In 2017, a Cochrane review on the use of continuous support for women during childbirth was published. They combined the results of 26 trials that included more than 15,000 people. The following results were found:

  • 39% decrease in the risk of Cesarean for those with doula support

  • 15% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth for those with doula support

  • 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

Postpartum findings from studies in Guatemala and South Africa showed the following:

  • Mothers with doula support showed more affectionate interaction with their babies including more smiling, talking, and stroking compared to the control group without doula support.

  • Doula-supported mothers took 2.9 days on average to “feel the baby was theirs,” and those without a doula took 9.8 days on average to feel the same.

  • Those with doula support also reported spending 1.7 hours a week away from their babies compared to the 6.6 hours per week the group that was not doula-supported reported.

  • More women were breastfeeding exclusively in the doula-supported group as well (51% compared to 29%).


Additional Resources

Evidence Based Birth

www.evidencebasedbirth.com

This site was created by Rebecca Dekker, a nurse with her PhD, as a non-biased source for the most current, evidence-based information on pregnancy and childbirth.

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

Purchase on Amazon

This is a complete guide to childbirth for dads, doulas, and all other labor companions.