"If a Doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”

- Dr. John H. Kennell, M.D.

If you are here right now, you most likely already have an idea of what a doula is. If not, let me tell you a thing or two about having a doula by your side the day your little bundle of joy makes its appearance Earth-side. I will try to keep it short as there are so many awesome benefits about having a Doula, we could be here for a while especially if I let my passion carry us away. So what is a Doula ? You wonder.

What's a Doula?
"Doulas come in all shapes and sizes, from stay-at-home moms to retired business professionals, from women in their twenties to seasoned grandmothers. What they all have in common is a love for motherhood, and a desire to make the pregnancy and childbirth the celebratory experience it is meant to be." 

- Rachel Gurevich, The Doula Advantage.
Your research may have shown you that the Greek origin of the word doula means "woman's servant" or "woman who serves". The most common kinds of doula you may have heard of or encountered are probably the Labor\Birth Doula and the Postpartum Doula. However, because each family comes with their own set of circumstances, there are all different kind of doulas, and each one of them is important in their own role and complement the others. Wherever the journey of life takes you, you may find yourself with extra need for support from an Antepartum Doula or High Risk Pregnancy Doula, a Loss Doula or Miscarriage Doula or maybe an Adoption Doula.

Doulas are non-medical professionals trained to assist the birthing mother, her husband, her partner, and her family. It is all about SUPPORT. The presence of a doula on your birth team means you will have educational, emotional, and physical support.
Educational support
Doulas are very knowledgeable about pregnancy, labor, and mother-baby care. They will help guide you according to your personal wishes about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood.
Emotional support
Motherhood can be difficult. Though Doulas do not provide medical care, they offer what many medical providers might not be able to do – personalized, compassionate emotional support.
Physical support
Doulas are like your personal labor-coach. Whether you want to go natural, or prefer an epidural for your labor and delivery, a Doula will ensure you are as comfortable and prepared as possible.

Evidence based, let's look at some numbers to illustrate the obvious benefits of having a Doula at your birth:


  • 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)*
  • 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)*
  • 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference.
  • Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference.
  • 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference.
  • 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff.

* : the best results occurred when a birthing person had continuous labor support from a doula– someone who was NOT a staff member at the hospital and who was NOT part of their social network.You can retrieve this information on the very informative website called EvidenceBasedBirth.com and here is their article "Evidence on: Doulas".

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