Andi Stracner's Doula Blog

A blog about natural childbirth and being a doula in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Contact Me!

I'm currently available to anyone looking for a good doula. So if you are interested and live in or around the Little Rock area, feel free to contact me. I love talking with new people.

Andi Stracner, Doula
Cell: (501) 838-0486

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Truth about C-Sections

Here's some disturbing information about cesarean births in the US:

  • Women are four times more likely to die during cesarean birth than during vaginal birth.
  • Cesarean deliveries increased 7 percent from 2001 to 2002 to reach a rate of 26.1 percent of all births, the highest ever reported inthe United States. Source: (2003) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The US ranks 21st among nations in infant mortality and has not improved measurably since the 1970s.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) states that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10 to 15%.
  • Cesarean sections are sometimes performed for other than maternal or fetal well-being, such as avoidance of patient pain, patient orprovider convenience, provider legal concerns or provider financial incentives.
  • In the 1960s, the cesarean rate in the U.S. was just 6.6 percent.

Statistics for 2002 and 2003 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

The five states with the highest cesarean rates in 2003:
  • Mississippi = 31.1%
  • New Jersey = 30.9%
  • Louisiana = 30.4%
  • West Virginia = 29.3%
  • Alabama = 28.7%

The states with the lowest cesarean rates in 2003:
  • New Mexico, (where 25% of babies are delivered by midwives), = 19.1%
  • Utah = 19.1%
  • Alaska = 19.4%
  • Idaho = 19.7%
  • Wisconsin = 20.6%

The five states with the highest cesarean rates in 2002:
  • Mississippi = 31.10%
  • New Jersey = 30.90%
  • Louisiana = 30.40%
  • West Virginia = 29.30%
  • Arkansas = 29.10%

The states with the lowest cesarean rates in 2002:
  • Wisconsin = 20.60%
  • Idaho = 19.70%
  • Alaska = 19.40%
  • New Mexico = 19.10%
  • Utah = 19.10%

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Doula Statistics

A 1993 study by Kennell, Klaus and Kennell showed that women who have doulas during their labors experience:
50% reduction in cesarean rates.
25% shorter labors.
60% reduction in epidural requests.
40% reduction in the use of pitocin.
30% reduction in requests for pain relief.
40% reduction in forceps deliveries.

What is a Doula?

Doula \DOO-luh\, noun:

1. A person who stays with a woman during her birth, helping her to feel safe so she can more easily let go to give birth.

2. A Doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth. Trained Doulas understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor. Generally, Doulas believe that pregnancy and birth are normal, natural and healthy processes. This includes preparation for birth, helping the laboring woman with encouragement, comfort measures, relaxation techniques, and an objective viewpoint, as well as support after childbirth, such as help with breastfeeding.

3. A woman who gives continuous physical, emotional and informational support during labor and birth. Doulas may also provide postpartum care services in the home.

4. Professional labor support person.

5. A caregiver who provides continuous physical, emotional, and educational support to the mother before, during, and just after childbirth.

6. A woman who assists during childbirth labor and provides support to the mother, her child and the family after childbirth.

7. Refers to a supportive companion (not a loved one) with the labouring women. She may be professionally trained to provide labour support but provides no medical care.

8. A doula is a woman (typically) who helps with the childbirth process. They can also help out after the baby is born. Not to be confused with a midwife, who replaces the hospital (or at least a doctor) in the childbirth process, a doula prepares the mom at home and helps you through the labor process at the hospital. They are often advocates of walking around during labor, while hospital policy tends to wire the mom to her bed via IV and monitor cables. It is well known that the most painful position for labor is in bed on your back, while a doula would likely have you walking or sitting on a 2' ball, which helps the hips and takes the load off the back.

{Derived from an ancient Greek word, meaning "woman's servant", "servant", "handmaiden" or "slave to the mother" (literally translated “slave”).}

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