What is a Birth Doula and what are the benefits to having one?

Doulas provide non-medical support to women and their families before, during and after childbirth. A doula’s support can help families with the physical and emotional aspects of childbirth. The Cochrane Review finds, “Continuous support during labour may improve outcomes for women and infants, including increased spontaneous vaginal birth, shorter duration of labour, and decreased caesarean birth, instrumental vaginal birth, use of any analgesia, use of regional analgesia, low five-minute Apgar score and negative feelings about childbirth experiences.”