OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Impact of Doulas on Healthy Birth Outcomes

Low income women may experience fewer instances of preterm birth and costly birth complications if they opt for a doula's services.

Photo of Christopher Krohn

Written by

There are numerous studies supporting the effectiveness of enrolling Doulas into the birthing process.

Compelling academic research around this topic has been carried out by a number of organizations, some of the research that has inspired me thus far are as follows:


Overview:

Modern hospital maternity care practices have reduced the availability of an attending nurse to remain with a mother during labor. A result of this has been the loss of having someone at the bedside to offer continuous support throughout the birthing process (Papagni & Buckner, 2006). One study found that new mothers expected their nurse to spend 53% of her time offering support, but only 6%–10% of the nurse’s time was actually engaged in labor support activities (Tumblin & Simkin, 2001). Because many women during labor are comforted and encouraged by having someone with them throughout labor and birth, support persons known as doulas have become increasingly present. Doulas are trained to provide physical, emotional, and informational support to women during labor, birth, and in the immediate postpartum period. With the support of doulas, many women are able to forego epidurals, avoid cesarean births, and have less stressful births. A skilled doula empowers a woman to communicate her needs and perceptions and actualize her dream of a healthy, positive birth experience. The positive effects of doula care have been found to be greater for women who were socially disadvantaged, low income, unmarried, primiparous, giving birth in a hospital without a companion, or had experienced language/cultural barriers (Vonderheid, Kishi, Norr, & Klima, 2011).

A skilled doula empowers a woman to communicate her needs and perceptions and actualize her dream of a healthy, positive birth experience.


THE ROLE OF A DOULA:

The role of a doula is to provide specific labor-support skills, techniques, and strategies, offer guidance and encouragement, build a team relationship with the nursing staff, encourage communication between the patient and medical caregivers, and assist the mother in covering the gaps in her care. According to DONA (n.d.), a doula's role can be summarized in seven objectives:

  1. To recognize birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all of her life;

  2. To understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor;

  3. To assist the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plan for the birth;

  4. To stay by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor;

  5. To provide emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint, and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions;

  6. To facilitate communication between the laboring woman, her partner, and clinical care providers; and

  7. To perceive the doula's role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.

Doulas use techniques such as imagery, massage, acupressure, and patterned breathing to reduce a woman's pain. They suggest position changes to accelerate labor or aid in fetal positioning. They also provide guidance and encouragement to minimize fear and anxiety, and encourage touch and communication between the laboring woman and her partner.


INSIGHT:

Doulas can empower women to achieve the best birth outcomes possible, and all outcomes—for births, infants, and mothers—seem to be affected more positively if support is provided by a doula in addition to the medical personnel. The doula focuses on individualized support before, during, and after birth; whereas nurses often are attending to several women in labor and responsible for many clinical and administrative tasks besides direct labor support. Research indicates that the expectation of nurse support by expectant women may be far greater than what is actually provided. 

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Continuous support during labour has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants and no known harm. All women should have support throughout labour and birth. HMW ensure women have access to the resources and support they need, despite income level.

How does this research relate to our use cases and personas?

This post addresses "The Under Resourced Mom"

Tell us about yourself:

I am a designer, artist, and strategist.

Are you currently an employee of Sutter Health or UCB Pharmaceuticals?

  • No

10 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Clara Emilie

few days ago, so i emailed Dr BEN about my bad relationship condition, how my lover left me, how he was with another girl, so dr ben told me it would take 2days to get my boyfriend back, i waited for 2 days, unbelievable my boyfriend came to my house asking me if we could try things out again. He broke up with the other girl and we rekindled and got back together, he now show me care and attention. was my last hope, my last chance after all the spell casters I tried before, dr ben kept his promise! he is the greatest spell caster on the internet, His email is;[drbenspellcaster@gmail.com] thanks..

Photo of Clara Emilie

i'm from USA i want to testify of a great and powerful spell caster my husband left me and the kids for 2 weeks when i called him he didn't pick up when he came back home the 3rd week he told me he wanted a divorce i was so sad i cried all night he left again i was so lonely the next day i was searching for something online when i found a spell caster called dr ben who have helped so many people with their problems so i contacted him with my problems he told me it will take 48hrs and my husband will be back to me i did every thing he told me to do and the next day my husband came back kneeling and begging he canceled the divorce we are now happy together dr ben can help you too Email him at: drbenspellcaster@gmail.com or whatsapp him on : +2348151642717..

Photo of Campbell Donoma

Please visit (http://solutiontemples.com)i am here to give testimony on how this powerful spell caster called DrIkhile helped me to fix my relationship. i was heartbroken when my fiancee told me he is no longer interested in marrying me because he was having an affair with the other woman where he work. I cried and sobbed every day,until it got so bad that I reached out to the Internet for help, that was when i read a review about the great work of Dr Ikhile, then i contacted him for help to get my lover back, he helped me cast a powerful (reconciliation love spell) and to my greatest surprise after 48 hours of doing the love spell my Fiancee came back on his knees begging me to forgive him We are now happily married and all thanks goes to Dr Ikhile Wonders for helping me save my relationship you can contact Dr Ikhile through his Website:http://solutiontemples.com Email solutiontemple27@gmail.com Call or Whats App +27789518085 you can text me on my number for more infomation about him +1(474)212 2467

Photo of Hash Violet

Here is my testimony about the good work of Dr UZOYA who help me.... I'm VIOLET from London. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to by this world top spell caster that brought back my husband which left me for the past 3 years, i eventually met this man on a blog sit, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 2 days, my husband was back to me after contacting this man, I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on; driraborspellcaster@gmail.com you can call him on +1(301) 909 8775

Photo of Richard Sara

My name is Richard Sarah from Malaysia. My husband left me a month ago and he was leaving with another woman who is 10 years older than him,i feet like my life was completely over. I read over the Internet how a spell caster have help several people to get there love back. I have been depress for the past one month and what i need is to get him back and live with him happily. so i decided to give it a try so i contacted this spell caster called Dr.UZOYA and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell which i use to get my husband back and now my life is complete and both of us are very happy with the relationship. and i am thoroughly grateful to this man, his contact email is driraborspellcaster@gmail.com Thank you very much and i am extremely great full, his Tel; +1(301)909 8775 And there is know evil attach to his spell it will only make your relationship very stronger...FB.ME/DRRUZOYASPELLTEMPLE

Photo of Richard Sara

My name is Richard Sarah from Malaysia. My husband left me a month ago and he was leaving with another woman who is 10 years older than him,i feet like my life was completely over. I read over the Internet how a spell caster have help several people to get there love back. I have been depress for the past one month and what i need is to get him back and live with him happily. so i decided to give it a try so i contacted this spell caster called Dr.UZOYA and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell which i use to get my husband back and now my life is complete and both of us are very happy with the relationship. and i am thoroughly grateful to this man, his contact email is driraborspellcaster@gmail.com Thank you very much and i am extremely great full, his Tel; +1(301)909 8775 And there is know evil attach to his spell it will only make your relationship very stronger...FB.ME/DRRUZOYASPELLTEMPLE

Photo of Vikki Counts

My husband was flirting with another woman. until he vanished away, I was desperate to get him back, I wasted so much time and money trying to get my Husband back, I tried almost all possibilities to have him back and nothing worked. I became lonely. To make it short, I found a spell caster Dr Trust. I saw the good testimonies about his wonderful work and after reading the Testimonials, I decided I had to try and give it one last try and After the spells, a miracle happened, my husband came home. It was awesome, anyone who needs help, should email him Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com Or call him or whatsApp him on these number. +2348156885231.

Go through his website and see more testimony about him. https://utimatespellcast.wordpress.com

Photo of Vikki Counts

My husband was flirting with another woman. until he vanished away, I was desperate to get him back, I wasted so much time and money trying to get my Husband back, I tried almost all possibilities to have him back and nothing worked. I became lonely. To make it short, I found a spell caster Dr Trust. I saw the good testimonies about his wonderful work and after reading the Testimonials, I decided I had to try and give it one last try and After the spells, a miracle happened, my husband came home. It was awesome, anyone who needs help, should email him Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com Or call him or whatsApp him on these number. +2348156885231.

Go through his website and see more testimony about him. https://utimatespellcast.wordpress.com

Photo of Vikki Counts

My husband was flirting with another woman. until he vanished away, I was desperate to get him back, I wasted so much time and money trying to get my Husband back, I tried almost all possibilities to have him back and nothing worked. I became lonely. To make it short, I found a spell caster Dr Trust. I saw the good testimonies about his wonderful work and after reading the Testimonials, I decided I had to try and give it one last try and After the spells, a miracle happened, my husband came home. It was awesome, anyone who needs help, should email him Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com Or call him or whatsApp him on these number. +2348156885231.

Go through his website and see more testimony about him. https://utimatespellcast.wordpress.com

Photo of Peju Adeniran

I find this very interesting.
The underserved mother in less developed countries will benefit from the doula (whatever the appropriate name in that community is) to serve as adjunct to other skilled birth attendants.
I will be following this thread as it is close to the issues that are close to my heart and profession.