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How a doula can help support you through labour and birth

Nadine Richardson
Created on Oct 04, 2023 · 2 mins read

Countless studies have proven over the last 20 years that using a doula (trained labour assistant) helps reduce the rate of c-section and medical anaesthesia while increasing maternal satisfaction rates. There have been many studies and two Cochrane Reviews (2017 and 2019) showing the importance of labour companionship that the 12 steps for MotherBaby Care initiative with The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) recommend doulas for all births. Private health insurers in Ireland and America are starting to rebate for doulas and some hospitals in America even give them for free.

Doulas connect us to the ancient ways and the wisdom of birth

You only have to look at ancient drawings that depict labour to know that women were always supported by other women during their birth. Among all those scenes is the doula figure, who was there to assist the baby and mother in feeling safe and supported.

‘Relief of a woman in birthing chair’- image via Eagles Dragon Publishing

“Our bodies and minds are programmed to have a doula there supporting us. It is so ancient that the subconscious is actually expecting and often looking for that doula archetype when we go into labour and arrive at the hospital,” says Nadine. “Women begin reaching out and certainly regretting that they didn’t employ one when the deeper psychological work of labour really begins.”

“If we remove doula’s from the birth setting our subconscious is ultimately being taken to a place where birth just feels unsafe. Craving a doula figure is completely natural and innate to women.”

Doulas help partners provide better support

First-time dads or partners who have never attended a birth (the majority), or may have not completed any birth education often feel very overwhelmed in the birthing space. Which is totally understandable.

Doulas don’t interrupt a partner’s role; rather they facilitate a better understanding for them and the ability to support and connect.

“I love watching couples fall in love during labour. Being able to observe partners in awe of mum going through contractions seems to establish a deeper love and bond for their family.”

Other cool facts about doulas:

  • 60% of She Births® families use a doula during birth
  • Doulas dramatically reduce the chance of c-section delivery
  • Many celebrities choose to have a doula for their birth, including Duchess Meghan Markle
  • Post-birth doulas help with breastfeeding and juggling home life

To understand the role of a doula and partner during labour and birth check out the She Births® Full Online Course today.

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