Hiring a Doula for Birth | Evidence Based Support

A Case for Doula Support

Evidence Based Care During Labor & Birth  

Again and again, research shows that doulas have a positive impact on new parents. Statistically, the best kind of doulas are for private hire, professionally trained, are not associated with the hospital or other entity and are not part of your social network. Doula support works because of the doulas ability to attune to your ever changing needs and emotions. 

Increasing Oxytocin

The bonds built with your doula, even if seemingly small, are incredibly powerful. Many times, as our doulas walk into a labor room, we watch as our clients visibly exhale stress and tension they were holding on to.

Oxytocin is the hormone that makes your uterus contract during labor. Oxytocin release can be triggered by all the things that make you feel good: massage, kisses, hugs, kind words, orgasm, chocolate and being attuned to. Freely flowing oxytocin helps the birth process. Stronger, more effective contractions lead to shortened labor and more emotional satisfaction.

Adrenaline, another hormone responsible for fight-or-flight feelings, can also have an impact on labor and oxytocin. Adrenaline actually inhibits oxytocin from flowing and encourages contractions to stop. Adrenaline is released when humans feel threatened, unsafe or stressed. No doubt that during labor, especially during hospital births, adrenaline finds a way to be present. Doulas focus on eliminating the things that cause adrenaline to crop up.

 Less adrenaline= more room for oxytocin. 

Increased Mobility 

Doulas help parents move! We love helping you choose different strategic positions to help baby descend into the birth canal. We encourage walking or dancing or getting up to use the restroom. Being mobile or using positioning tools when confined to a bed can make all the difference in pain management! Attuning to you means recognizing when a certain position is causing you discomfort and giving you the tools to explore new options. 

And moving around isn't just for the thrill of it! Research shows that parents who move during labor have better outcomes than those who don't. Back pain is lessened, the bones in your pelvic floor have the freedom to move to accomodate baby, changing positions can help to turn a malpositioned baby and more. 

Increased Self Esteem

Your confidence matters. We want to build you up to allow you to access the strength we know every client of ours has. Creating a safe space to express your feelings usually leads to a sense of empowerment and self worth. Connection is essential to helping you build strength and determination for your big day and beyond. 

Decreased Pain

The reasons above explain why pain is statistically decreased when a doula attends your birth. Movement, emotional support and getting oxytocin flowing all contribute to less painful experiences. Parents who choose to labor with a doula are also less likely to utilize interventions like epidurals or pitocin. Perhaps that is due to the perception of less pain. What we theorize, though, is that having someone truly hear you and walk alongside you through the pain, makes all the difference. 

Decreased Anxiety (Fear)   

Fear=Tension=Pain. We use this analogy so often! If you are fearful, it creates tension in your body (Hi, adrenaline!). Tension in your body leads to pain. If we can eliminate fear, we can certainly decrease pain. 

family bonding after birth

In short, there are many things doulas attune to when supporting families through labor and birth. We keep fear in check, keep encouragement and the environment positive and support your working body and mind. 

You deserve to have your story unfold as closely as you hope it will, but labor begs to thrust you into unfamiliar territory. Our doulas would be humbled to be your "familiar" during the unknowns of parenting. Labor isn't always easy. But know this: doulas don't bring strength to the table, you do. Doulas don't bring bravery and trust in their doula bags. We don't bring unobstructed love (though we do bring some) or unhindered power. You do. Our clients have all the tools they need, right there inside them. Doula support helps bring those qualities to the surface and lets them shine for all to see. 

Its your strength, bravery, love and power that ultimately helps you to meet your baby. You can do this! 

 

 

For more information on the evidence & research behind birth doulas and their support, we highly recommend: Evidence Based Birth