According to the ACOG, "the medical benefits of a doula have been well documented in the literature and include decreased use of analgesia and anesthesia, lower rates of operative birth, increased breastfeeding, increased infant attachment, and decreased postpartum depression."
Aliza Bancoff, Founder of Main Line Doulas, a leading provider of reliable, high-quality support during pregnancy, the birth itself, and postpartum, is forging new partnerships with maternal fetal medicine specialists in the Main Line, Bucks County and Philadelphia area to improve patient care. Bancoff states, "Patient care and outcomes improves when doulas are involved and we enable doctors to achieve better outcomes." Main Line Doulas mission is to ensure that high risk pregnant women receive the very best care with their team of competent, trained doulas which helps them have less primary cesareans."
Bancoff, who applauds the ACOG's recognition of the far reaching benefits of doula/physician partnerships and sees this as a growing trend to improve care for mothers and their babies, states "Main Line Doulas is privileged to work with some of the area's leading obstetricians and is excited to expand their network to reach more women."
Integral to their mission to improve the experiences of pregnant and birthing women, Main Line Doulas is working with insurance companies to get doula services reimbursed. To date, over twenty insurance companies, including Indpendence Blue Cross, have begun paying for doula services in some locations. Bancoff "insurance reimbursement is becoming more popular as both obstetricians and maternal fetal specialists recognize the profound benefits that having a pregancy, birth and post partum doula provides to their patients."
The presence of a doula is a relatively recent innovation in maternity wards around the country.
" It seems to me that every woman needs a doula" states Dr. Wagner. As the cost of obstetrical care soars, having a doula to assist during the birth makes economic sense for insurance companies. Kathryn Scott, Dr. PH. et al conducted trials to determine the efficacy of doulas. et al wrote " The results of these 12 trials strongly suggest that doula support is an essential component of childbirth. A thorough reorganization of current birth practices is in order to ensure that every woman has access to continuous emotional and physical support during labor."
According to Scott in The Obstetrical and Postpartum Benefits of Continuous Support during Childbirth, "Early benefits [of doulas] include reductions in state anxiety scores, positive feelings about the birth experience, and increased rates of breastfeeding initiation. Later postpartum benefits include decreased symptoms of depression, improved self-esteem, exclusive breastfeeding, and increased sensitivity of the mother to her child's needs."