A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother and her birth partner during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. They do not have any formal medical training and do not perform any medical procedures. There are doulas that specialize in every type of birth, from home birth to a planned cesarean at a hospital. There is substantial growing evidence on how doulas positively impact births. But do you need a doula? With the benefits are downsides, like the additional cost. This article examines the evidence on having a doula, how they advocate for you and work with your OB/GYN or midwife, and how they support your partner in being your primary support during labor. Plus, get tips on how to find a doula that is the right fit for your family.

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