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          What is a doula? A doula is a non-medical support person who coaches you through labor and delivery. She brings expert knowledge to the experience, delivering reassurance and relaxation when the birthing person needs it most. Additionally, doulas are trained in comfort measures such as massage, techniques using a traditional Rebozo, light essential oils, and verbal assurances. If one chooses to use a doula, she will be an advocate for the birthing person, constant support throughout birth. The word "doula" translates to "servant" in Greek. Doulas provide physical, informational, and emotional support through important life events, most commonly pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Doulas have been around for thousands of years, as women have helped other women through birth. What can a doula do for you? Doulas:

- educate without advising

- stay with you throughout your labor

- stay objective

- are focused primarily on the birthing person

- help you advocate for your birthing preferences

- help you create a birth and postpartum plan

- talk through any birthing fears

- are experienced with birth

- are a supportive, listening, and non-judgemental ear!

         Doulas make your birthing experience more relaxing, empowering, and spiritual. But that's not all they do; doulas have also been statistically proven to improve birth outcomes. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) named doulas as highly beneficial, even calling them "one of the most effective tools to reduce the cesarean rate."

Doula statistics:

- 25% decrease in risk of Cesarean Section

- 8% increase in spontaneous vaginal delivery

- 24% decrease in the use of Pitocin

- 10% decrease in the use of pain medication

- 31% decreased risk of being dissatisfied with birth experience

- 25% shorter labor time

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