Is a doula different from a midwife?
- Midwives are health care practitioners who provide the person giving birth with the necessary medical support, care and advice during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period. Doulas are trained to provide evidence-based information, emotional and physical non-medical support before, during, and after labor.
- Both a midwife and a doula can be used on your birth team.
What is different about a community-based doula?
What are the benefits of having a doula?
- Improved maternal and infant health
- In studies, Doulas have been associated with: more spontaneous vaginal births, higher satisfaction with the birth experience, increased breastfeeding initiation, and shorter labor.
- Doulas have also been shown to lessen the chance of low birth weight and infant/maternal mortality.
- On average, people who use doula services have fewer c-sections and require less use of pain medication during delivery.
- Increased satisfaction and engagement with maternity care
- Decrease in health disparities and lesser effect of stressors (from racial discrimination, food insecurity, poverty, etc.) on the birth process
- Decreased healthcare spending (because Doulas can reduce the number of c-sections, repeat c-sections, epidurals, birth complications, and chronic conditions, they can decrease the cost of maternity care for both private insurance and Medicaid)
What if I am planning to have a normal hospital birth/not natural birth/c-section/want medication?
- Doulas can provide physical and emotional support to all different types of births, and are there to help the person giving birth and support their birth plan.
Do I need a doula if my partner will be there supporting me?
What is the difference between this program and a home visiting program?