Doulas work to reduce fear and promote positive labour hormones
A study released today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, demonstrating a link between longer labours and higher intervention rates, highlights the importance of the role of the doula says Doula UK.
The study found that between five and 20% of women have a fear of childbirth and that those women will labour on average for an hour and 32 minutes longer than those who don’t feel afraid as well as experiencing more intervention during birth.
Rebecca Schiller of Doula UK said: “It is unsurprising that women who feel frightened find their labour longer, more difficult and may need medical intervention. The physiology of birth tells us that for a woman to release oxytocin, the hormone that causes her to have contractions, she needs to feel safe, relaxed and unobserved. Feeling frightened has a profound negative effect of these complex chemicals that the woman’s body produces to facilitate labour.
“Doula UK doulas are well-versed in birth physiology, but most importantly their support allows women and their partners to explore their fears and hopes before labour and provides a constant, nurturing environment during the birth; an environment designed to help a woman feel safe and allow her body to do what it needs to do.
“Studies have demonstrated the powerful effect the support of a doula can have on medical intervention rates and a Cochrane Review of continuous support during labour demonstrated that women with experienced and continuous support outside their family or social circle and outside the medical team experienced shorter labours.
Working with the medical professionals and other key birth organisations we hope to help women tackle fear in childbirth”
As recent survey demonstrates successful breastfeeding increased with doula support National Breastfeeding Week runs this week from 24th-30th June and Doula UK is celebrating by highlighting recent survey findings showing the dramatic impact the support of a doula can have on breastfeeding relationships.
The survey gathered data from 105 doulas and their 1,106 clients finding that 93 per cent attempted breastfeeding and 70 per cent were still exclusively breastfeeding after six weeks. The figures are significantly higher than the latest national figures from the Department of Health, which show only 74.1 per cent of new mums attempt breastfeeding, and just 47 per cent are still exclusively breastfeeding at six weeks.
Rebecca Schiller of Doula UK, said: “National Breastfeeding Week is an important celebration of breastfeeding in the UK and a chance to highlight infortmation, resources and support networks that new parents may find helpful when beginning their breastfeeding journey.”
“The support of a doula during pregnancy, birth and the critical postnatal period makes a real difference to breastfeeding success rates. A doula will allow parents to access information, get to know local resources, have common myths dispelled and will encourage them to set their own breastfeeding goals whilst providing them with and directing them to the support available to meet those goals.”
To find out more about Doula UK and its network of doulas visit www.doula.org.uk
For more information please contact Rebecca Schiller on
07793084945 or pr [at] doula [dot] org [dot] uk