Benefits of a doula. What does the research show?

The presence of a doula providing continuous support repeatedly produces significant reductions in:

  • Requests for pain medication
  • Use of epidurals
  • Instrumental delivery (forceps or vacuum)
  • The length of labor
  • Number of cesarean operations

Scott, Berkowitz and Klaus, A comparison of intermittent and continuous support during labor: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, May 1999.

Long term benefits to mothers and families:

  • Mother’s increased satisfaction with her birth experience
  • Increased positive feelings towards partner/father
  • Significantly increased success with breastfeeding
  • Decreased incidence of severe and moderate postpartum depression
  • Increased maternal self-confidence and self-esteem