The Doula Network

Benefits of Using a Doula

The prestigious Cochrane Collaborative recently reviewed the benefits of continuous labor support for birthing women[1]. After examining 21 studies involving over 15,000 women, the authors found that mothers who received continuous support during labor:

  • were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth;
  • were less likely to have an epidural or other pharmaceutical pain relief;
  • were less likely to report dissatisfaction with their labors;
  • had shorter labors;
  • were more likely to give birth without cesarean, vacuum, or forceps;
  • were less likely to have babies with a low 5-minute Apgar score.

No wonder then that Dr. John Kennell once quipped,
“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”

[1] Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Weston J. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 2. Art.No.:CD003766. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub3.