The recently updated Cochrane Systematic Review, a comprehensive study of over 15,000 women by the respected Cochrane Collaboration, confirms previous research outcomes on continuous labor support. Women supported by a doula are less likely to have any analgesia or anesthesia, to give birth via vacuum extraction or forceps, to give birth via cesarean, to have a baby with a low apgar score, and/or to report dissatisfaction of their birth experience. Additionally, they are more likely to experience shorter labors and to deliver spontaneously. The effects were the strongest when the continuous support caregiver was not a hospital staff members or a member of the woman's social circle. The study findings summary is available here.
Every midwife knows
that not until a mother’s womb
softens from the pain of labour
will a way unfold
and the infant find that opening to be born.
There is treasure in your heart,
it is heavy with child.
All the awakened ones,
like trusted midwives are saying,
'welcome this pain.'
It opens the dark passage of Grace.
Jalal al-Din Rumi