The researchers found that overall, people who have continuous support during childbirth experience a:

    • 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)*
    • 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)*
    • 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference
    • Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
    • 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
    • 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff.