Why become a doula?
What are the benefits of having a doula?
Numerous studies have documented the benefits of having a doula present during labor. A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, showed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. With the support of a doula, women were less likely to have pain-relief medications administered and less likely to have a cesarean birth. Women also reported having a more positive childbirth experience.
Other studies have shown that having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40%, and requests for an epidural by 60%
Doulas often use the power of touch and massage to reduce stress and anxiety during labor.
According to physicians Marshal Klaus and John Kennell, massage helps stimulate the production of natural Oxycontin
The pituitary gland secretes natural Oxycontin to the bloodstream (causing uterine contractions) and to the brain (resulting in feelings of well-being and drowsiness, along with a higher pain threshold).
Historically it was thought that intravenous oxytocin does not cross from the bloodstream into the brain in substantial amounts and, therefore, does not provide the same psychological benefits as natural oxytocin. However, more recent studies indicate that oxytocin administered nasally and/or intravenously may cross from the bloodstream into the brain. Nonetheless, doulas can help mothers experience the benefits of oxytocin naturally without the use of medication.
What about the father’s role when using a doula?
The role of the doula is never to take the place of husbands or partners in labor, but rather to complement and enhance their experience.
Today, more husbands play an active role in the birth process. However, some partners prefer to enjoy the delivery without having to stand in as the labor coach. By having a doula as a part of the birth team, a father is free to do whatever he chooses. Doulas can encourage the father to use comfort techniques and can step in if he wants a break. Having a doula allows the father to support his partner emotionally during labor and birth and to also enjoy the experience without the added pressure of trying to remember everything he learned in childbirth class!
Benefits of a Hiring a Postpartum Doula:
Easier physical recovery period
Reduced rate of postpartum mood disorders
Reduced fatigue and anxiety for both parents
Improved rest and nutrition for the mother
Less anxiety and worry for the partner returning to work
Greater breastfeeding success
Increased competence and confidence in all aspects of newborn care
Increased positive outcomes from timely referrals to appropriate support groups and professionals
An antepartum doula provides physical and emotional support to the mother-to-be who experiences medical or psychological issues anytime during the pregnancy. Many of these mothers have had pregnancy complications, including multiple babies, and are confined to bedrest up to 20 weeks. The doula will help with household organization, meal preparation, care of older sibling(s), run errands, and provide companionship. The doula is educated in normal pregnancy and complications, ways to support the mother physically and mentally, and how to provide care to the family.
MyCAA Scholarship Information
If you wish to use MyCAA scholarship funds, you will need to contact the ABP Doula Training Center to discuss all the course options. Before starting your online application, you will need to receive an acceptance letter from the training center which contains all the requirements for certification, course codes, and cost of each training.