Illustrations by Juliana Vido; follow her on Instagram @julianavido.

what is a doula? what does a doula do? why do I need a doula?

If you are asking yourself these questions, you are not alone! A doula is a person that a pregnant woman or expecting family may hire as additional birth support and coaching.

Studies have shown that a doula has great benefits to a laboring woman and her perception of her birth. A doula is most effective when they are a professionally trained doula rather than a family member or nurse with free hands. This means that a your mother or favorite nurse, no matter how helpful they are, doesn’t have the same positive impact that a doula can.

Why should you hire a doula? There are so many physical and emotional benefits to hiring a doula, many of them documented by research.

  • A doula can increase confidence in the woman, not just during labor, but after
  • A doula during labor increases breastfeeding rates at six weeks postpartum
  • Increases chances of spontaneous childbirth (decreases chances of induction)
  • Lower cesarean section rates
  • Lower chances of medication during labor
  • Faster labors
  • Higher five-minute APGAR scores in the infant
  • Less likely to have any sort of medical intervention

These are just the documented benefits of hiring a doula. Couples find that doulas have an amazing impact on the birth and help not just mom, but her partner too.