World Doula Week kicks off today and more specifically, today is World Doula Day!
The purpose of World Doula Week (WDW) is to empower doulas all over the world to improve the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period. March 22nd was chosen because it is close to the spring equinox which represents the return of fertility in many cultures.
There's a LOT of information in this article from Midwifery Journal, but I found it to be super interesting. If you need some new reading material, check it out!
Labor Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, we're all in this for the same reasons: We care deeply about mamas and their babies and we want to see the best possible outcomes for each family. And the statistics are out there. In 2013 The Seacoast Doula Group sought to answer the question: “Is there evidence-based research backing the advantages of having a postpartum doula?” The following is taken directly from their site:
"Research by experts tells us what many have long suspected: that those new parents who have support and feel secure and cared for during this time are more successful in adapting than those who don’t. Studies have shown that cultures in which women are cared for by others for a defined period of days or weeks and are expected only to nurture themselves and their babies during that time have superior outcomes in postpartum adjustment (1-2). We know that women who experience support from their family members, care providers, counselors and peer groups have greater breastfeeding success (3-10), greater self-confidence (11-15), less postpartum depression (16-21) and a lower incidence of abuse than those who do not (22-24).
There is also evidence indicating that timely referrals to competent, appropriate professionals and support groups can have a significant positive outcome for the family (11, 18, 20, 21, 25). Parents benefit from education on what to expect from a newborn, baby-soothing skills, feeding, bonding and attachment and coping skills (3, 13, 26-30). Rather than being told to “help out”, partners and other family members benefit from concrete instruction and role modeling on how to support a woman during the weeks after birth. Research tells us that support for and from the partner can have a significant impact on their partner’s own experience as well as the emotional adjustment of the mother (3, 8, 17-21, 31-36). (References)"
It is my great privilege to get to serve families as a doula, its some of the best kind of work on the planet.