Both studies and personal experience have conclusively demonstrated the wonderful benefits of professional labor support to the mother while she prepares and gives birth to your child.
Studies have shown that support for the laboring and birthing woman has many benefits. Particularly, in situations where mothers have no loved ones present during labor where there is a high intervention, the presence of a birth doula or other labor support person often reduces the mother’s need for pain medications by as much as 30 to 60%. Labor is usually 25% shorter due to the mother being more relaxed.
Just having someone there to comfort and reassure reduces anxiety levels resulting in less need for interventions, such as the use of forceps and episiotomy. Additionally, the risk of a Cesarean section is also significantly reduced – by as much as 50%.
The benefits from labor support often result in long term effects as well. Mothers feel better about their birth experiences, causing stronger bonding with their babies. They also often have improved success with breastfeeding. Less trouble with postpartum depression is another benefit often experienced by mothers having had labor support.
The purpose of labor support, besides providing these benefits to mothers and babies, is to help improve the overall outcome of birth in general. Providing emotional and physical support to a laboring a woman causes her to be more comfortable and more relaxed. The more relaxed and comfortable a mother is during labor the less intervention is needed. The less intervention used, the less trauma and stress the mother and baby endure which results in better bonding, better breastfeeding and better relationship between mother and father. All these things promote better beginnings for families, and overall, effect the good of our society.