Do You Need a Digital Doula?

Do You Need a Digital Doula?

Doulas, trained professionals providing physical, emotional, and informational support during the childbirth process, have been integral to birthing practices for centuries. However, this age-old profession is becoming less and less common in the modern age, which may make it difficult to find one locally who seems right for you.

Enter digital doulas. These are accessed through digital health platforms and use video appointments throughout pregnancy and the postnatal period to provide support. This makes them cheaper, more easily accessible and provides more choice to the user.

Pregnant woman in field

Recent research evaluated the impact of virtual doula support, with the headline being a notable 20% reduction in the likelihood of caesarean births. This reduction is even more pronounced at 68% for Black users, a population who frequently have worse birth outcomes in the UK. The study also showed positive associations between virtual doula use and key elements of the birth experience, including decision-making, pregnancy education, anxiety management, and a sense of support. These findings suggest that virtual doula support can play a significant role in improving birth outcomes and experiences.

It is crucial to acknowledge that while doulas complement the care provided by medical professionals, they do not hold medical credentials. In the United Kingdom, doulas operate without national regulatory oversight, unlike professions such as midwifery and nursing. Despite this, voluntary organizations like Doula UK exist to provide training, certification, and standards of practice for doulas. If you’re considering seeking advice from a doula, be sure to do your own research before committing.

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