What is a Doula?
The word, "doula" comes from the Greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing. The word has come to refer to "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth." Klaus, Marshall H., M.D., Phyllis Klaus, M.Ed., and John Kennell, M.D., Mothering the Mother. NY: Addison-Wesley, 1993.
...recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life...
... understands physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor...
...assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth...
...stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor...
...provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions...
...facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical care providers...
...perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.
~Doulas of North America (DONA)
What are the benefits of Doula Care?Twenty years of research have proven that the presence of a doula can affect health care significantly by:
A 25% reduction in the length of labor
A 50% reduction in the rate of cesarean section
A 40% reduction in the rate of oxytocin use and forceps deliveries
A 60% reduction in the requests for epidural anesthesia
An increase in successful breastfeeding
Aiding fathers in participating with confidence
An increase in maternal satisfactionStatistics from: Klaus, Kennel and Klaus, Mothering the Mother, 1993.
Doulas are becoming the newest members of todays maternity care team. Childbearing women and couples, midwives, physicians, and labor and delivery nurses appreciate the resources, techniques, knowledge and continuous empathetic support a doula provides.
Leading Lady Labor Support is located in Cochise County, Arizona.
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Webmaster: Minda L. Hager
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