by Liz Hochman, CD(DONA), LCCE
The Childbirth Collective doulas attended over 700 births in the Twin Cities in 2012. We took some time to compile some year-end stats, and came up with what we think are very interesting numbers that offer a snapshot into the Twin Cities birth community. These statistics show the varied settings, providers, types of families, and types of births attended by Childbirth Collective doulas.
Two-thirds of the births Collective doulas attended were for first-time families and over 200 births were for mamas expecting their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th baby! We believe there is a special role for everyone in the birth space as we don’t just support the mother but also the family as a whole. Nearly all (97%) of the births we attended last year included a partner in attendance and almost 20% included another family member as well.
Hospital births made up the majority of our births last year, with 90% taking place at Twin Cities hospitals. We feel strongly that mamas need doulas in home birth (7%) and Out-Of-Hospital Birth Center (3%) settings as well. Although we’ve had one of our doulas at every single hospital in the area for at least a handful of births, we spend the majority of our time at Abbott, St. Joe’s, Methodist, HCMC, Fairview Riverside, and Woodwinds (15%, 14%, 12%, 8%, 8%, 9%).
No matter what type of provider you are birthing with, chances are we’ve been there! While 50% of our births took place with a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in attendance, we attended births with OBs (37%), Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) (9%), and Family Practices Doctors (5%).
Whether you are seeking a natural birth or a birth with pharmacological pain management, a doula is valuable and can support you in ways that are unique to your needs. Collective doulas report that 55% of their clients used no pain medication, 31% used an epidural for pain management, and 14% used other pharmacological methods.
Even if you are planning a cesarean or NOT planning one, but end up having an unexpected surgical birth – we are trained to change our support and comfort skills as your birth unfolds. Last year, families using a Collective doula had a 12% unplanned cesarean rate. Collective doulas also attended a handful of planned cesareans. When an unplanned cesarean birth was the ultimate outcome, our doulas were allowed into the operating room to perform continuous support for those families 67% of the time.