Potential Benefits of Increased Access to Doula Support During Childbirth - Reserch Overview

Among this study, 6% of the women gave birth with doula support, among those without doula support, 59% were aware of doula care, 27% reported wanting a doula but did not have one. Of this sample, 30% had cesarean section, with 10% of women with no definitive medical indication for cesarean reported that they delivered via cesarean. There was a higher percentage of younger woman (18 - 25 years) who reported to have doula care, compared with women aged 35 years and older. Younger mothers were more likely to desire doula support and first time mothers had higher rates of both doula support and desire for doula support than experienced mothers. There were significant differences in desire for doula support in uninsured women (39.3%) compared to privately insured women (21.2%). Interestingly, women with doula support during labour and birth, had lower rates of non indicated cesarean delivery compared to births which were not supported by a doula.

There were some limitations to this study, sample size, online conducted survey, retrospective nature of self reported and questions. However, this was the first national representative data, comparing quality-of-care outcomes, based on access to and reported desire for doula care.

Written by Carla Vescio, Chiropractor

Kozhimanni, K.B., Attanasio, L.B., Jou, Judy., Joarnt, L.K., Johnson, & P.J., Gjerdingen, D.K.. (2014) Potential Benefits of Increased Access to Doula Support During Childbirth. The Amercian Journal of Managed Care. 20 (6), 340-352.