Document Detail

Female relatives or friends trained as labor doulas: outcomes at 6 to 8 weeks postpartum.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17718872     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Data collected on more than 12,000 women in 15 randomized controlled trials provide robust evidence of the beneficial effects of doula support on medical outcomes to childbirth. The objective of this paper was to examine the association between doula support and maternal perceptions of the infant, self, and support from others at 6 to 8 weeks postpartum. The doula was a minimally trained close female relative or friend. METHODS: Six hundred low-risk, nulliparous women were enrolled in the original clinical trial and randomized to doula support (n = 300) or standard care (n = 300). The mother-to-be and her doula attended two 2-hour classes about providing nonmedical, continuous support to laboring women. For the secondary study, presented here, research participants (N = 494) were interviewed by telephone using a 42-item questionnaire. RESULTS: Overall, when doula-supported mothers (n = 229) were compared with mothers who received standard care (n = 265), they were more likely to report positive prenatal expectations about childbirth and positive perceptions of their infants, support from others, and self-worth. Doula-supported mothers were also most likely to have breastfed and to have been very satisfied with the care they received at the hospital. CONCLUSIONS: Labor support by a minimally trained female friend or relative, selected by the mother-to-be, enhances the postpartum well-being of nulliparous mothers and their infants, and is a low-cost alternative to professional doulas.
Della Campbell; Kathryn D Scott; Marshall H Klaus; Michele Falk
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Birth (Berkeley, Calif.)     Volume:  34     ISSN:  0730-7659     ISO Abbreviation:  Birth     Publication Date:  2007 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-27     Completed Date:  2007-11-08     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8302042     Medline TA:  Birth     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  220-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Graduate Division, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
Labor, Obstetric / psychology*
Mothers / psychology*
New Jersey
Patient Satisfaction
Social Support*

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