Why hire a doula?

"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it" - Dr. John Kennell

What are the benefits of hiring a doula?

Evidence-based research shows that providing continuous support during childbirth significantly improves outcomes. The data collected “focused on women’s, partners’, family members’, doulas’, providers’, or other relevant stakeholders’ perceptions and experiences of labour companionship”

Research documents the difference a birth partner made in the following areas;

  • use of any pain medication,
  • use of artificial oxytocin during labour,
  • spontaneous vaginal birth,
  • caesarean births,
  • the baby’s admission to a special care nursery after birth,
  • negative birth experiences.


In all areas, outcomes were better when a person was well supported. In one report 1/3 of the outcomes were specifically improved by the support being provided a doula.*

*defined in the research as someone who was not a member of the hospital staff member and who was not part of the woman’s social network.

Decrease in the chance of a caesarean birth
25% decrease with a consistent partner; if the birth partner was a doula it was a 39% decrease.

Increased likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth
8% increase with a consistent partner; if the birth partner was a doula it was a 15% increase.

Reduced use of pain medication
10% decrease in the use of any pain medication during labour and birth.

Reduction in the length of labour
Shorter labours; by an average of 41 minutes.

Reduction in poor apgar scores
38% decrease in your baby’s risk of a low five-minute *Apgar score.

Reduced negative experiences
31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience.

Increased breastfeeding rates
22.5% more women initiated breastfeeding with a doula and 31.3% more women were still breastfeeding at six weeks.

Reduced risk of perinatal mental illness
Antenatal Doula support can have a positive impact on maternal emotional wellbeing, by reducing anxiety, unhappiness and stress, and increasing self-esteem and self-efficacy.

The research above is taken from:

  • Cochrane review on Continuous support for women during childbirth (Hodnett et al 2013),
  • MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 24:2 2014
  • Article number: 21(2019) from the BMC (Pregnancy and Childbirth)


*Apgar Score – The Apgar score is a test given to newborns soon after birth. This test checks a baby’s heart rate, muscle tone, and other signs to see if extra medical care or emergency care is needed.

Doula Services Explained

Antenatal Education & Birth Preparation

The one thing that all doulas have in common is our desire to ensure that people are educated and informed about birth and the choices available to them.

Antenatal education and birth  preparation are cornerstones to a positive birth experience.

Whether antenatal education is provided to you online or in person it can contribute to you feeling confident to make informed choices.  Doulas offer bespoke and personalised antenatal education to meet your individual needs topics covered may include:

  • Emotional needs
  • Stages of labour
  • Birth options
  • Coping techniques
  • Birth partner preparation


Birth Support

A birth doula is someone who provides consistent care from the time of booking and is by your side whilst you give birth to your baby. They are part of your team, your inner circle. It is their job, to not only support you and your birth partner (if applicable) but to protect your space too.

There is sometimes a misconception that a doula is only really used for a home birth but there are plenty of doulas who support births in birth centres and hospitals, as well as supporting caesarean birth and free-birth. It’s all about connecting with the right doula to support your birth choices and needs.

Postnatal Doula

A postnatal doula is someone who supports you after your baby is born. They provide you with practical and emotional support. This can be in your home, the hospital or online. Support can be during the day or overnight.

Postnatal doulas help families adapt to life with their newborn(s). They provide a listening ear and a someone to lean on without judgement. Doulas support families to build their own family culture and find their individual parenting style. Doulas are there to hold parents first and babies second!

Postnatal doula support may include:

  • A chance to rest
  • Feeding support incl. breastfeeding/chestfeeding
  • Signposting to other specialist support
  • Keeping parents fed and watered
  • Laundry duties
  • Light housework


A Variety Of Other Services
Lots of doulas offer a wide range of supporting services that you might wish to consider. Services include:

  • Hypnobirthing
  • Placenta remedies
  • Newborn photography
  • Closing the bones
  • Pregnancy massage
  • Pregnancy Yoga
  • Aromatherapy


With our directory, you can see what additional services the doulas near you offer.

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