Research about doulas

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of research about doulas.

Research articles about doulas that appeared in peer-reviewed journals

Bohren, M.A., Hofmeyr, G.J., Sakala, C., Fukuzawa, R.K., & Cuthbert, A. (2017). Continuous support for women during childbirth. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 7(7), CD003766. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub6


Gjerdingen, D. K., McGovern, P., Pratt, R., Johnson, L., & Crow, S. (2013). Postpartum doula and peer telephone support for postpartum depression: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of primary care & community health, 4(1), 36–43. https://doi.org/10.1177/2150131912451598


Greiner, K. S., Hersh, A. R., Hersh, S. R., Remer, J. M., Gallagher, A. C., Caughey, A. B., & Tilden, E. L. (2019). The Cost-Effectiveness of Professional Doula Care for a Woman's First Two Births: A Decision Analysis Model. Journal of midwifery & women's health, 64(4), 410–420. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmwh.12972


Gruber, K. J., Cupito, S. H., & Dobson, C. F. (2013). Impact of doulas on healthy birth outcomes. The Journal of perinatal education, 22(1), 49–58. https://doi.org/10.1891/1058-1243.22.1.49


Hardeman, R. R., & Kozhimannil, K. B. (2016). Motivations for Entering the Doula Profession: Perspectives From Women of Color. Journal of midwifery & women's health, 61(6), 773–780. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmwh.12497


Hodnett, E. D., Gates, S., Hofmeyr, G. J., & Sakala, C. (2013). Continuous support for women during childbirth. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 7, CD003766. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub5


Kozhimannil, K. B., Attanasio, L. B., Jou, J., Joarnt, L. K., Johnson, P. J., & Gjerdingen, D. K. (2014). Potential benefits of increased access to doula support during childbirth. The American journal of managed care, 20(8), e340–e352. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5538578/


Kozhimannil, K. B., & Hardeman, R. R. (2016). Coverage for Doula Services: How State Medicaid Programs Can Address Concerns about Maternity Care Costs and Quality. Birth (Berkeley, Calif.), 43(2), 97–99. https://doi.org/10.1111/birt.12213


Kozhimannil, K.B., Hardeman, R.R., Attanasio, L.B., Blauer-Peterson, C., & O’Brien, M. (2013). Doula care, birth outcomes, and costs among Medicaid beneficiaries. American journal of public health, 103(4), e113–e121. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2012.301201


Kozhimannil, K. B., Hardeman, R. R., Alarid-Escudero, F., Vogelsang, C. A., Blauer-Peterson, C., & Howell, E. A. (2016). Modeling the Cost-Effectiveness of Doula Care Associated with Reductions in Preterm Birth and Cesarean Delivery. Birth (Berkeley, Calif.), 43(1), 20–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/birt.12218


Kozhimannil, K. B., Vogelsang, C. A., Hardeman, R. R., & Prasad, S. (2016). Disrupting the Pathways of Social Determinants of Health: Doula Support during Pregnancy and Childbirth. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: JABFM, 29(3), 308–317. https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2016.03.150300


Lanning, R.K., & Klaman, S.L. (2019). Evaluation of an Innovative, Hospital-Based Volunteer Doula Program. Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing : JOGNN, 48(6), 654–663. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jogn.2019.08.004


Ogunwole, S.M., Bennett, W.L., Williams, A.N. and Bower, K.M. (2021), Community‐Based Doulas and COVID‐19: Addressing Structural and Institutional Barriers to Maternal Health Equity. Perspect Sex Repro H. https://doi.org/10.1363/psrh.12169


Pascali-Bonaro, D. (2003). Childbirth education and doula care during times of stress, trauma, and grieving. The Journal of perinatal education, 12(4), 1–7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595172/


Sauls, D.J. (2002). Effects of labor support on mothers, babies, and birth outcomes. Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing, 31(6), 733–741. https://doi.org/10.1177/0884217502239209


Thomas, M., Ammann, G., Brazier, E., Noyes, P., and Maybank, A. (2017). Doula Services Within a Healthy Start Program: Increasing Access for an Underserved Population. Matern Child Health J, 21, 59–64. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10995-017-2402-0

Reports or blog posts that examine Medicaid reimbursement for doulas

Report of the Virginia Medicaid Benefit for Community Doula Services Work Group (Dec. 1, 2020)

Access in Brief: Pregnant Women and Medicaid (2018), by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission


Advancing Birth Justice: Community-Based Doula Models as a Standard of Care for Ending Racial Disparities (2019), by Asteir Bey, Aimee Brill, Chanel Porchia-Albert, Melissa Gradilla and Nan Strauss


HealthConnect One Issue Brief: Creating Policy for Equitable Doula Access, by HealthConnect One


Issue Brief: A Guide to Proposed and Enacted Legislation for Medicaid Coverage for Doula Care (2019), by Alexis Robles-Fradet


Routes to Success for Medicaid Coverage of Doula Care (2018), by Amy Chen


The Doula Option: An Opportunity to Improve Birth Outcomes in Washington State (2019), by Cate Sturtevant and Molly Firth


Expanding Access to Doula Care: State of the Union (2020), by Christina Gebel and Sarah Hodin

Assessment of Medicaid reimbursement for doulas in Minnesota

Medicaid Coverage of Doula Services in Minnesota: Preliminary Findings From the First Year (July 2015), by Katy Backes Kozhimannil, Carrie Vogelsang and Rachel Hardeman

Assessment of Medicaid reimbursement for doulas in Oregon

Advancing Health Equity for Childbearing Families in Oregon: Results of a Statewide Doula Workforce Needs Assessment (Sept. 30, 2018), by Courtney Everson, Courtney Crane and Raeban Nolan

Bringing Medicaid reimbursement for doulas to New Jersey

Bringing Community-Based Doula Care To New Jersey (August 2020), by Aron Lesser, Renée Nogales and Atiya Weiss

Useful surveys

Building A Successful Program for Medi-Cal Coverage For Doula Care: Findings From A Survey of Doulas in California (May 2020), by Amy Chen, Alexis Robles-Fradet and Helen Arega


Doulas as Childbirth Paraprofessionals: Results from a National Survey (2005), by Paula M. Lantz, Lisa Kane Low, Sanjani Varkey and Robyn L. Watson


Listening to Mothers in California: A Population-Based Survey of Women’s Childbearing Experiences (September 2018), by Carol Sakala, Eugene R. Declercq, Jessica M. Turon and Maureen P. Corry


Listening to Mothers III, Pregnancy and Birth: Report of the Third National U.S. Survey of Women’s Childbearing Experiences (May 2013), by Eugene R. Declercq, Carol Sakala, Maureen P. Corry, Sandra Applebaum and Ariel Herrlich


Washington state Medicaid reimbursement: Survey of birth doulas (2019), by Ashley Nguyen

Assortment of impactful journalism on maternal health

Last updated: March 4, 2021

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