Moms-to-be who choose a friend or relative to act as their doula during delivery are more likely to have a positive birth ex-perience. In a study of 600 first-time moms, half were given the chance to select a close friend to be trained as a doula. Those who were assisted in the delivery room by a handpicked doula reported feeling better after the birth, as well as about themselves and their newborns, compared with women who did not have a doula.
If you want to give birth with a trusted friend by your side, the two of you can attend a childbirth education class or seek one-on-one training from a certified doula, says study co-author Kathryn D. Scott, D.P.H., of the Oregon Public Health Division. Additionally, DONA International, a nonprofit organization that provides education to doulas worldwide, offers classes to individuals who want to act as a doula for a friend or relative. Visit dona.org.