Clinical studies have found that a doula's presence at a birth can result in a shorter labor with fewer complications, and also reduce negative feelings about one's birth experience.

When continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced a(n):

  • Increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth

  • Decrease in the likelihood of Cesarean-section

  • Decline in the use of Pitocin

  • Reduction or elimination in the use of any medications for pain relief

  • Lowered risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery

  • Higher satisfaction with the birth experience

Research has also shown that parents who receive support:

  • Feel more secure and cared for

  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics

  • Have greater success with breastfeeding

  • Enjoy greater self-confidence and self-esteem

  • Experience less postpartum depression


Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2012)

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (2002) and (2002) 

British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (1991)

DONA International (Why Use A Doula)

Additional Resources

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2010). Practice Bulletin No. 115: Vaginal Birth After Previous Cesarean DeliveryObstetrics and Gynecology,116 (2), 450-463. 

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2012, July). Placenta accreta. Committee Opinion No. 529. Obstet Gynecol, 201-11. 

Komorowski, J. (2010, Oct 11). A Woman’s Guide to VBAC: Putting Uterine Rupture into Perspective. Retrieved from Giving Birth with Confidence

Landon, M. B., Hauth, J. C., & Leveno, K. J. (2004). Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Associated with a Trial of Labor after Prior Cesarean DeliveryN Engl J Med,351, 2581-2589. 

Curtin, S. C., Gregory, K. D., Korst, L. M., & Uddin, S. F. (2015). Maternal Morbidity for Vaginal and Cesarean Deliveries, According to Previous Cesarean History: New Data From the Birth Certificate, 2013.National Vital Statistics Reports, 64(4). 

Eshkoli, T., Weintraub, A., Sergienko, R., & Sheiner, E. (2013). Placenta accreta: risk factors, perinatal outcomes, and consequences for subsequent births. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 208, 219.e1-7. 

Guise, J.-M., Eden, K., Emeis, C., Denman, M., Marshall, N., Fu, R., . . . McDonagh, M. (2010). Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: New Insights. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US). 

Heller, D. S. (2013). Placenta accreta and percreta. Surgical Pathology, 6, 181-197. 

Reitman, E., Devine, P., Laifer-Narin, S. L., & Flood, P. (2011). Case scenario: Perioperative management of a multigravida at 34-week gestation diagnosed with abnormal placentationAnesthesiology, 115(4), 852-857. 

Silver, R. M., Landon, M. B., Rouse, D. J., & Leveno, K. J. (2006). Maternal Morbidity Associated with Multiple Repeat Cesarean DeliveriesObstet Gynecol, 107, 1226-32.