The benefits of continuous support during labor are numerous, with the most important benefit being “fewer reports of dissatisfaction with the experience of labor”. We iterate to our clients the importance of planning, of discovering and prioritizing their options, and of creating a clear and effective birth plan. But we also make it known that even with all of the planning and preparing that can be done, there is still only one thing, or should I say person, who has a say in how labor and birth goes: the baby.
“When a woman feels continuously supported during her labor, she is more likely to have the experience she envisions. And if things do go differently than she had planned, she is more likely to be at peace with it because she had someone there to take away the guessing, the doubt, and reassure her that she is doing everything possible to keep herself and her baby safe and healthy.” -Tara Miller
ACOG recognizes the value that a doula has in improving birth outcomes and satisfaction. According to their recent article, “Evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-to-one emotional support provided by support personnel, such as a doula, is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor. Benefits found in randomized trials include shortened labor, decreased need for analgesia, fewer operative deliveries, and fewer reports of dissatisfaction with the experience of labor (1, 17). As summarized in a Cochrane evidence review, a woman who received continuous support was less likely to have a cesarean delivery (RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.67–0.91) or a newborn with a low 5-minute Apgar score (fixed-effect, RR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.50–0.95) (1). Continuous support for a laboring woman that is provided by a nonmedical person also has a modest positive effect on shortening the duration of labor (mean difference –0.58 hours; 95% CI, –0.85 to –0.31) and improving the rate of spontaneous vaginal birth (RR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.04–1.12) (1).”
At Dayton Doulas LLC, we don’t believe that one person’s birth is better than another person’s. We have a strong conviction to support all women in their choices for their birth, be it a natural birth, birth with an epidural, or a planned cesarean. Our goal is simply to help them have the birth that they desire.
Healthy and happy moms and babies are our number one concern, and we are more likely to get both when we provide them with compassionate, nonjudgmental support.
We are happy that ACOG has formally recognized our value in labor and delivery and look forward to continuing working with local care providers to support women in the Dayton Metro area.
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