It's amazing how much difference something so simple can make. Look at these stats:
Infant Health Problems at Six Weeks
Vomiting- 28% vs. 4%
Colds or runny nose- 69% vs. 39%
Cough- 64% vs. 39%
Poor appetite- 25% vs. 0%
Diarrhea- 33% vs. 19%
Satisfaction with Partner
Since baby was born- 49% vs. 85%
Relationship better right after birth- 30% vs. 71%
Psychological Outcome at Six Weeks
Anxiety- 40% vs. 28%
Self-esteem- 59% vs. 74%
Depression- 23% vs. 10%
Can you guess what makes the difference? Why are the second stats so much better in each instance?
It's the doula difference, my friends. Not only will doulas vastly improve your birth outcomes, their presence and assistance have amazing long-term effects as well.
The more I learn, the more clear and plain it becomes that what happens at birth matters... a lot. Birth experiences can have enormous ripple effects for good or bad. I wish all women recognized this simple truth. Birth matters! And having informed, supportive, and loving people around you during your birth will have profoundly beneficial immediate and long-term effects.
[Stats quoted in The Doula Book, by Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus. Study references: Wolman, W. L. Social support during childbirth, psychological and physiological outcomes. Master's thesis, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 1991, and Wolman, W. L., Chalmers, B., Hofmeyr, G. J. et al. Post-partum depression and companionship in the clinical birth environment: A randomized controlled study. Am J Obstet and Gynec, 168: 1380-1393, 1993.]