The Childbirth Collective by the Numbers

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.

Liz Hochman is a birth doula and Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educator who teaches at Blooma in Minneapolis, MN. She is the mother of two adorable girls. Read more about Liz at

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