31st August 2022
Doula UK publish evidence of an increase in families seeking doula support and the positive impact that doulas make.
Each year Doula UK members, of which there are currently over 650 doulas working across the UK, complete a annual return detailing their doula work from the previous year. We have collated this data and are delighted to share the results with you which clearly show an increase in the demand for doula birth and postnatal support and show the positive outcomes and benefits of having a doula during pregnancy, birth and the after the birth of a baby.
In 2021 a total of 1,835 births (up from 1,460 in 2020) were supported by a doula last year and 1,667 families were supported virtually. 2,493 families were supported postnatally. This is an increase of over 110% on last year when 1,186 families were supported postnatally, in fact, postnatal doulas clocked up an amazing 69,700 hours of support.
The majority of doulas reported working more this year than last, and 76% reported that doula enquiries came from Doula UK Find a Doula search and 51% said that doula enquiries came from a referral from another Doula UK doula.
Doulas impacted breastfeeding / body feeding rates too with 92% of birth clients breastfeeding their baby compared to the National rate of 81%. And an incredible 60% of postnatal clients were breastfeeding at final visit, compared to the National average of 24% at six weeks.
We saw an increase in families choosing to give birth at home and this became the most common place of birth. 66% of births were spontaneous vaginal births.
These results are based on 2021 and the data from the 485 doulas who have completed their return to date.
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