Monday, October 12, 2009

How to make a doula feel loved

I loved this interview with Dr. John Kennell - I had never heard of him before, but apparently he is a big doula supporter and a founding member of DONA (Doulas of North America):

NLJ: Dr. Kennell, you are an adamant supporter of doulas, and much of your research has focused on the benefits of having a doula present during the birth process. You are often quoted, having stated: “If a doulas were a drug, it would be malpractice not to use it.” That’s a pretty, strong statement.

Dr. Kennell: Yes it is.

NLJ: Why do you feel doulas are so important?

Dr. Kennell: When providing the mother with a doula, which is really bringing back an old, old practice, we found that it just made a remarkable difference in the obstetric outcomes. So that’s one reason. There are strong suggestions that mothers who have a doula feel much better about themselves and how they did during labor. ... So, something that makes mothers enthusiastic about their baby and about what they did themselves, that’s great.

Read the rest here - I only wish it were longer.

I will say, nothing warms my heart like medical staff who appreciate doulas. Attention supportive midwives, nurses, and doctors: give the doulas you see a quick welcome if you can. In the best hospitals I've been in, people say "Oh, you're the doula! We LOVE doulas here!" It will make your patient happier, her doula more comfortable, and everything can run more smoothly when everyone knows they're a welcome part of the team. Reading Dr. Kennell's interview made me think of all the wonderful hospital staff I've met who were excited to see a doula in the room and let everyone know it!


Jill--Unnecesarean said...

He's the Kennell of the Klaus and Kennell studies on critical period bonding from the... seventies?

OK, here we go...

Jill--Unnecesarean said...

Oh. You knew he was a DONA founder already.

I'm such a helper.


(My word verification is "badend")

Jamie said...

I am so grateful for the nurses at my local university hospital - they make me feel so welcome!

publichealthdoula said...

@Jill: You win the helper award for today! I actually didn't realize he had done those studies, so thank you :-)

@Jamie - isn't it great to have people smiling when you walk in the door! I know sometimes nurses can get a little territorial so their welcome counts for a lot.