Doula support during labor

Dr. Urvashi Sehgal shares her views about Doula support during childbirth and how critical it is to have one

I think support in labor is a wonderful thing. It’s a huge asset for the patient and for the obstetrician as well. It helps the woman to cope so much better. And when the woman is relaxed and coping well, labor progresses much better. Professional support, which interferes with medical decision making can be a problem.

But I don’t think that should really happen if there are good communication and understanding between the two caregivers, the medical and the non-medical, and at times the trust factor also becomes more when there is a doula or a support giver involved in the care. Family support is very good also, provided the family member is well-informed and knows how the woman needs support, is sensitive to her needs, doesn’t panic, but is reassuring.

But a lot of family members sitting in the room, gossiping, chit-chatting and from time to time putting questions such as, how long is it going to take, or why is it taking so long or, you know, it’s, it’s hurting too much do something; that becomes a big hurdle and inhibiting for the patient, disturbance for everybody who’s trying to look after the woman and is better not there.