Some people wonder if they really need a doula at FBW since our midwives and birth assistants specialize in supporting women through natural labor. A doula is certainly not required, but we do recommend them, especially to first time mothers who tend to have longer, more difficult labors.

The role of a doula is to simply support the laboring mom/couple physically, emotionally and with information. She does not have a medical role. The midwife is the one who will be assessing that things are going well throughout labor and delivering the baby. A doula can be supporting a mom emotionally and physically through an intense situation in labor while the midwife focuses on her first priority - attending to the medical needs of mom and baby. If everything is proceeding normally, you will see the midwives and birth assistants working in the doula role as well, breathing through contractions with a laboring mom, squeezing her aching hips, or showing her partner how to best relieve her back pain.

If our clients are interested in using a doula during labor, we are happy to connect them with professional experienced doulas in the community who we have worked with and seen great results from.

We also work with a team of volunteer doulas who gladly assist mothers who cannot afford the typical cost of a doula, and can connect you with our volunteers.

Research shows using a doula improves birth outcomes in a very positive, measurable way. Studies have shown that mothers using doula experience a:

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin
  • 28% decrease in the risk of Cesarean
  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience