Doula care can improve birth outcomes, say advocates

Although more popular in urban areas, doulas have the potential to improve birth outcomes for rural, low-income women, say advocates. The role of doula is distinctly different from midwifery because a midwife is a licensed medical professional who is a part of the birth process. A doula, on the other hand, could be thought of more like a professional mom who has a lot of experience in the delivery room and is there to help both parents. Doulas are able to help new parents understand what is normal through the birthing process and can offer information before, during and after the birth, said Miyoko Inase, an Albuquerque-based doula. Doulas can be in the birthing room to help mom with her breathing, massage and help with pain management.