Exciting news! A research paper entitled “Potential Benefits of Increased Access to Doula Support During Childbirth” published by the the American Journal of Managed Care details the benefits of doula care. Taking their numbers from a survey of women regarding their experiences giving birth, the team of researchers compiled the data with the goal of discovering whether doula care really does make a difference and the impact increased access to doula care might have on birthing families, insurance costs, and rates of c-sections. Here are some of their findings:
- Out of 2400 birthing women, only 5.9% worked with a doula. Sadly, among those who were aware of doulas, 27.3% wanted, but did not have, a doula.
- Doula support was associated with a 60% reduction in c-section rates in general, and a whopping 80% reduction in c-sections that were not medically indicated. Wow!
- Over 40% of women, at least according to this sample, are not aware of doula care. We need to get the word out, people!
For more fun facts, take a minute to read over the paper. It makes a good case for an increase in access to doula care in order to lower c-section rates and costs associated with birthing. It also makes the argument that we need to get the ball rolling and figure out a way to have doula care covered by insurance. In the long run, this coverage would reduce a lot of the costs associated with birthing and result in safer births for more women.
As the mother I worked with yesterday said, just minutes after birthing her child, “Every mom should have a doula!”