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Why should I hire a Doula?

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A review by Cochrane (a prestigious international organization that prepares and keeps up-to-date systematic reviews in many areas of health and medicine) on the effect of “Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth” (PDF Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C. Continuous support for women during childbirth. In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2003.) has drawn astonishing conclusions. The primary objective of this review was to assess the effects, on mothers and their babies, of continuous, one-to-one support as compared to usual care. Fifteen trials involving 12,791 women were included. After review and analysis of the data, the researchers offered the following synopsis:

Continuous labor support reduces a woman’s likelihood of having pain medications, increases her satisfaction and chances for ‘spontaneous ‘ birth, and has no known risks. Supportive care during labor may involve emotional support, information and comfort measures. Such care may enhance normal labor processes and thus reduce need for obstetric intervention.

The reviewer’s offered the following conclusion: All women should have support throughout labour and birth.

The Benefit of Continuous Support in Labor is recognized by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, the World Health Organization and the Medical Leadership Council (an organization of over 1200 U.S. hospitals).

Because of this but also because we know from experience that it makes a difference, we encourage you to educate yourself and find out for yourself if it would also make a difference in your birth experience to have a doula support you before, during and after the birth of your baby.