Benefits of Using a Doula
The prestigious Cochrane Collaborative recently reviewed the benefits of continuous labor support for birthing women. 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.”
 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.