During my last pregnancy, I followed along with an app that let me know how my baby was developing each week. It would suggest articles and occasionally there would be a poll. Once such poll was: "Will You Use a Doula?"
Of 117,000 votes, 6% said Yes and 9% said they were not sure.
85% said "NO"
There is only a small part of the population using this app, but when looking at research it matches the findings. About 6% of birthing mothers use a doula annually in the United States.
So why would someone want to use a doula? Births involving doulas have a 50% less chance of cesarean. Births involving doulas are 25% shorter. The need for pitocin is dropped by 40% and requests for an epidural by 60%. These are the scientific reasons to hire a doula, and just a few of the positive influences having one present during birth can have.
The question then becomes, why aren't more people utilizing this tool?
There are several factors at play.
Some think a doula will replace their husband or partner (not true).
Some think doulas are an extra, unneeded cost (They are extremely useful and worth the cost).
Some think doulas are only for first time mothers. (Moms on their second, third, or more child can benefit).
Some think doulas only support women through unmedicated births (Doulas support all types of birth choices).
Some have no idea what a doula is or what she does.
Where are you on this list?
Do your own research and see whether a doula fits in to your ideal birth experience. If you decide to utilize a doula's services, research ones in your community and interview a few to find the person that best fits your personality and needs.
So. Will you use a doula?
Further reading: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/