Research about doulas

Please note that this page is no longer being regularly updated. (Last updated: March 4, 2021)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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