What is a Doula ?

So, what is this doula thing that so many pregnant women speak of? The word ‘doula’ — pronounced ‘doo-la’ — is a Greek word meaning ‘woman servant or caregiver’. More recently, it refers to someone who offers emotional and physical support to a woman and her partner before, during and after childbirth. A doula (also known as a birth attendant) believes in ‘mothering the mother’. She enables a woman and her partner to have the most satisfying birth experience possible, from pregnancy and into motherhood.

The Benefits?

Having a doula has many benefits. Research has shown that mothers who have continuous labour support in the form of a doula experience :

These trials have found that a doula’s presence at birth

  • Tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications 

  • Reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug) by 40%, as women who employed a doula often seek out natural methods to induce labour

  • Reduces the need for forceps or vacuum extraction by 40%, as woman who choose to have a doula are encouraged to stay active and relaxed during the labour, using gravity to help the baby to move down through the birth path. 

  • Reduces the need for cesareans by 50%

  • Reduces the mother’s request for epidurals by 60% as the doula will help woman to stay very relaxed and calm, and her close contact and massage stimulates oxytocin production. Naturally secreted oxytocin produces feeling of well- being and a raised pain threshold.

  • Women who use a doula are more satisfied with their birth experiences, however they birth their babies. 

  • Lower incidence of postnatal depression

  • Have a greater success with breastfeeding and breastfeed longer

Cuddles & Co Doula Services