Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why a Doula?

Birth is the first major life event that all three of you, the mother, child and spouse or birth partner, will experience together. It will leave an indelible imprint in your mind. Especially as the mother, you may be surprised when years from now, you will still be able to recount the details of the event. Not only will you recall each part of the process, but the memories of your emotions during the experience will also stick with you.

The thing about birth is, though it is an amazing experience after which you will never be the same, it can also be intense and sometimes unpredictable. I always strongly encourage women to empower themselves by learning all they can about pregnancy and the birth process, as that can only positively impact your experience. However, it is still impossible to predict how your specific pregnancy and birth will unfold. That is why having someone that provides continuous emotional, physical and informational support during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum can really help. That is basically what a doula does.


50% reduction in the cesarean rate
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in oxytocin use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery

This information was obtained from Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can HelpYou Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993).










suggested reading

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, by Henci Goer

Gentle Birth Choices (book and/or video), by Barbara Harper

Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience, by Ricki Lake & Abby Epstein

Birthing From Within, by Pam England and Rob Horowitz

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing, by Marie F. Mongan

The Pregnancy Book: A Month-By-Month Guide, by Williams Sears M.D., Martha Sears, Linda Hughey Holt

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two, by William Sears, Martha Sears, Robert Sears, and James Sears;

Natural Baby and Childcare, by Lauren Feder, M.D.;

A Natural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health, by Dean Raffelock

The Nursing Mother's Companion, by Kathleen Huggins

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber &; Elaine Mazlish;

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by
Phyllis A. Balch CNC