Happy International Doula Month!

What a perfect time to showcase the wonderful Breath of Life Certified Doulas, a group of nationally-certified birth doulas who also completed a customized, day-long, hands-on training right here at the birth center so they can better support our clients in labor.

They know our midwives, they know what labor tools we have, they had a chance to “labor” in our birth suites, they know where the ice pops are, and they know how to make moms comfortable in the tub, on the bed, or on a walk in our garden.

Our Certified Nurse-Midwives have known since day one that the continuous support that doulas offer to women in labor has a positive effect on that labor.  What we are excited to share is that now obstetricians also think that having a birth doula is a great idea!

In a Committee Opinion released earlier this year about how to reduce labor interventions, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) cited evidence that suggested that having continuous one-to-one emotional support, such as that provided by a doula, can result in a:

  • Shorter labor
  • Decreased need for pain medications
  • Fewer vacuum extractions and forceps
  • Higher satisfaction with the birth experience
  • Lower risk of cesarean birth

This is a big deal!  ACOG is acknowledging that doulas provide invaluable personal and economic benefits to women in labor.  In fact, the committee feels so strongly about continuous support for women in labor that their opinion urges health care organizations “to develop programs and policies to integrate trained support personnel into the intrapartum care environment to provide continuous one-to-one emotional support to women undergoing labor.” Wow!  What an endorsement! Not surprisingly, that opinion is fully supported by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

We’re so grateful that Breath of Life clients have a group of specially-trained doulas who are ready to help them through labor, stay by their side, keep them hydrated and fed, help them into the tub, breathe with them, care for the dads as they support their partners, and mostly, to simply encourage that laboring woman that yes, she can do this.

With big smiles and hugs, we say “Happy International Doula Month” to all our wonderful Breath of Life Certified Doulas!