Dedicated to the Development of Doulas and Our Profession

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When the Doula’s Client Receives A Diagnosis

A diagnosis is the identification of a medical condition that affects the future of the person receiving it. It may be minor or life altering, temporary or permanent. Sometimes this comes about as a result of genetic testing, a problem with the baby during pregnancy, or the pregnancy itself brings an otherwise unknown health condition to light. A medical diagnosis will often change how a person perceives their state of health or identity.  It may limit their options…

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Careful Now! The Black Pregnant Body is NOT Defective

Recent press has spotlighted the tragedy of more Black women and babies dying than Whites in the United States. It has amplified the voices of Black women and allowed more people to hear their stories. As we listen to the medical horrors of women not being listened to about their own bodies and symptoms, and the medical miracles of ill babies kept alive, it’s very tempting to buy into the accompanying idea that there must be something very wrong with the Black pregna…

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How the U.S. Women’s Movements Influence The Lack of Doula Research, Part IV of IV

The last major influence on why there isn’t pressure for more birth doula support research is that it doesn’t fit neatly into a feminist or women centered agenda in the United States.   During the Second Wave of Feminism in the 1970’s, women’s health issues moved to the forefront. Exploration of women’s bodies, books on reproductive health, and access to abortion became public topics. At the same time there was considerable tension within the movement itself about ho…

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Doula Research Part III – Barriers To Approvals, Funding And Publishing Access

Most people don’t know much about the research process or how difficult and time consuming it can be to publish in a peer reviewed journal. This essay exposes the barriers that are unique to publishing doula research examining obstetrical or neonatal outcomes. Part II covered the medical politics and power dynamics that negatively influence doula research projects, while Part I listed fourteen research questions that have not been answered in the 35 years since the f…

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Why The Doula Research We Need Doesn’t Exist: Part II – Medical Politics and Practices

As a young woman, I naively thought that the evidence was so overwhelming that we’d steadily see doula research in major medical journals. Nursing and medical students working on research degrees would pair with their professors and community members to answer these pressing questions. The fact that our answers could impact future generations would provide enough incentive. We could stop women’s bodies from being permanently damaged by outmoded obstetric practices an…

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Why Don’t We Have The Doula Research We Need? Part I of IV

The Cochrane Collaboration updated their doula research review this year. They added four, only FOUR new studies – and none of them advanced our research conclusions in any significant way. Birth doulas have the potential to be the most influential factor in lowering negative birth outcomes and optimizing positive ones for mothers and babies. We’ve known that for over THIRTY YEARS – that’s a whole generation of people who could have benefitted but didn’t.

No…

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