It truly takes a village to not only raise a child, but also to support the parents in their journey. I recently discovered two incredibly strong, smart and loving women in my village, Jeni and Tina from Doulas of the Palm Beaches. These women make a living helping and caring for mothers and their babies. I am in awe. I simply can’t think of a more worthwhile and meaningful mission than to help a new mom to get off on the right foot and to ensure that her baby arrives safely into a happy and well-adjusted family. Having a Doula present at your birth and in the days/ weeks afterwards can help you in SO many surprising ways. Here are 36 AMAZING facts about Doulas!
1. There are different types of doulas. (birth, antepartum, postpartum, bereavement doulas)
2. You can hire a doula at any time, although most clients book very early in their pregnancies to assure availability.
3. Birth doulas assist in a wide variety of birth situations: women who want no or little intervention during labor, women who want epidurals or other pain medications, women delivering via VBAC, women having scheduled cesarean sections.
4. Certified doulas have to recertify every 3 years and have to receive continuing education hours.
5. Birth doulas use many different ways to help a woman in labor (breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, massage, and laboring positions).
6. They have seen it ALL before. Un-waxed body parts and unfinished toe nails do NOT offend them.
7. A birth doula acts as an advocate for the mother, encouraging and helping her obtain specific goals she might have for her birth.
8. They speak “mother in law” and can get messages across rather effectively.
9. A birth doula wants to create a safe and positive environment for the laboring women.
10. Poop during labor does not faze them.
11. A birth doula values a positive relationship with the laboring woman, her spouse/partner, her family and the medical/care providers she has at her birth.
12. Doulas are NOT medical professionals.
13. They can massage shoulder without pinching, unlike what husbands do.
14. Women who received continuous support by a birth doula were found to have shorter labors by about 40 minutes and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth.
15. 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin with a birth doula.
16. 28% decrease in the risk of C-section with a birth doula.
17. 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth with a birth doula.
18. 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief with a birth doula.
19. 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery with a birth doula.
20. 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience with a birth doula.
21. Birth doulas DO NOT replace the spouse/partner at a birth. Doulas are there to support not only the laboring woman but also the other people chosen to be there.
22. Doulas will help you labor even if it is in the middle of a good football game.
23. Many healthcare professionals will refer you to a birth doula they prefer to work with – so please ask for referrals.
24. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) published data indicates that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.
25. Doulas already know to wash their hands before touching the baby.
26. A postpartum doula provides extra physical and emotional support for a new family.
27. Doulas are professional baby swaddlers.
28. A postpartum doula offers breastfeeding support and education. Research shows greater success with breastfeeding with a postpartum doula present.
29. A postpartum doula helps with newborn care instruction.
30. A decreased likelihood of Postpartum Mood Disorders with the help from a postpartum doula.
31. A postpartum doula will help you navigate a smooth transition into parenthood.
32. A postpartum doula allows more time for mother to rest and heal.
33. Research shows that a mother feels more secure and cared for when having a postpartum doula present.
34. A postpartum doula will offer services such as light housekeeping and meal preparation.
35. A postpartum doula will help a family with access to needed resources in community and evidence based knowledge for decision making regarding the baby.
36. Many insurance companies are now covering birth and postpartum doula expenses.
I feel blessed to have met Jeni and Tina from Doulas of the Palm Beaches, I only wish I had known all this information BEFORE I had our four boys. I could have used them at my side MANY times, especially in the first days after coming home.
What surprised you the most about childbirth? How could a Doula have helped you and your baby?
Follow Doulas of the Palm Beaches on Facebook for awesome birth- and baby-related content or visit their website for information on their services. Tina and Jeni are always excited to speak with expectant and new moms to help identify how they can add the most value.
Check out some of my previous pregnancy-related articles:
10 Questions Every Pregnant Woman Should Ask
Letter to the Mom Scared of C-Sections
P.S. I did not receive any compensation for this post. I simply wanted to share the awesome information I recently learned. Let me know if you have any questions or comments – I would love to hear from you!
I wish I had one – our insurance didn’t cover it! Sounds like an amazing resource!
Robin Jones says
I hired a doula with my second birth because I wanted an unmedicated VBAC in a hospital – and I succeeded with her help! She was invaluable and worth every penny. My water broke before I had contractions and she came to the house to help get them started with accupressure and a TENS unit. I had hours and hours of relentless back labor, but between her and my husband, I made it through without an epidural. Most difficult but rewarding experience of my life and I would totally do it again!
Jean Marie C says
I wish I had the money for a doula!! And I also really wish I were one… One day, its on my list of goals.
Jamie Spray says
I really wanted to hire a doula, but with everything else, just don’t have the money. I really think, especially going “all natural” – and with very little preparation help from my SO – that it would’ve helped me to have a professional doula’s support, encouragement, and knowledge… Here’s hoping it goes smooth, regardless!
My sister is a doula and she was with me for most of my 44 hour labour. I didn’t go into the hospital until the last 6 hours. Definitely the right choice for me.
I hope to have a doula for my next birthing experience.
Dandi D says
I didn’t have a doula with my first, and I am wondering if I should have one this time around.
I learned so much about doulas from this post! I’ve always been a fan of doulas, midwifes, home births, natural births, etc., but I had no idea there was such a thing as postpartum doulas! What a great concept! I always envy those european women who get an in-home nurse for the first several months. Why is America so behind on taking care of moms and new babies?!?! I am eager to read more of your posts. Cheers!
Mama in the Now says
I am SO glad you learned something new. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a postpartum doula?! I sure could have used it a time or four.