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The evidence for doulas

Research has shown that the presence of a doula during labour and birth can have the following effects :


  • Reduced need of pain relief (Oxytocin/Pitocin and epidural)

  • Reduced risk of instrumental birth

  • Reduced rate of induction of labour

  • Reduced risk of Caesarean birth

  • Increased likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth

  • Shorter labour by an average of 40 minutes

  • Reduced risk of a low Apgar score

  • Increased likelihood of initiating breastfeeding, and successfully establishing breastfeeding


Women attended by a doula :


  • Rate their self-esteem higher

  • Score lower by half on measures for Postpartum Depression

  • Are more likely to rate their birth experience as “good”, and to say they coped well with labour

For more evidence-based information about doula care,

click here

“If a doula were a drug,

it would be unethical not to use it.”

Dr. John H. Kennell

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