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What is a doula? (doo-lah)

mothering the mother 

The role of the doula is an ancient one. The concept of having a birth keeper, or a companion providing support to a birthing person dates back to prehistoric time. 

Midwives are brilliant, but sadly they are unable to provide continuous care. It is most likely that the midwife present at your baby's birth you will have never met before. Doula's work alongside the midwifery team throughout pregnancy, birth and crucial immediate postnatal time, commonly referred to as the 'fourth trimester'. A doula will guide and reassure you throughout this life-changing journey. They are a non-medical member of the birth team, not to replace your birth partner, but to provide flexible, practical and emotional support and help advocate for you in the birth room. As someone who has got to know you and your desires, they will hold and protect your space - helping you to feel at ease and statistically proving to lower your chances of intervention. 

If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.
     Dr John Kennell


Benefits of having a doula

There is evidence to show that having a doula is linked to many mental and physical benefits including:

  • Reduced risk of Caesarean birth

  • Reduced risk of instrumental birth

  • Reduced need for painkillers or epidural during birth

  • Reduced rate of induction of labour 

  • Increased chance of shorter labour 

  • Increased parental satisfaction with the birth experience

  • Increased likelihood of initiating breastfeeding 

  • Increased likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding & breastfeeding at 6 weeks 

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