Do doulas help and when are they beneficial?

February 20, 2022
by Alex Barr
Do doulas help and when are they beneficial?

Do doulas help and when are they beneficial?

Doulas have existed for centuries and have a long history!
Doulas have many benefits.
Contrary to popular belief doulas aren’t just for wealthy people giving birth at home. (neither are midwives but that’s another topic)

The main benefit of a doula is having someone who’s only job is to support you.
Nurses will have other patients and will change shift every 12 hours, your provider may spend time with you prenatally but can’t be guaranteed to be there when you’re giving birth.

Providers also tend to pop in and out during labor but you won’t typically see them for more than a few minutes until it’s either time to push or time for your cesarean.

Having a doula means someone who knows your wants, desires, and style of support will be there next to you in labor!

The evidence on doulas is still be researched but here is what we know so far: (from Evidence Based Birth)
People who receive continuous support (someone who never leaves their side)

  1. Were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births 
  2. Less likely to have any pain medication or epidurals
  3. Less likely to have negative feelings about their birth
  4. Less likely to have vacuum or forceps-assisted births
  5. Labors were shorter by about 40 minutes
  6. Babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth

From evidence based birth:

“There is a smaller amount of evidence that doula support in labor can lower postpartum depression in mothers.
There is no evidence for negative consequences to continuous labor support.
The results of this study mean that if a birthing person has continuous labor support (that is, someone who never leaves their side), both birthers and babies are statistically more likely to have better outcomes!”

If doulas have no negatives and you could feel more supported, have a better birth experience, and can decrease the chances of intervention in birth does that make them beneficial? YES!

Learn about: what a doula is and how to find one.