Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Ballentine, Hope

Committee Member/Reader

Owen, Megan


The visitor policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic limited doula care and called into question the importance of doulas in the birth process. While the Cochrane Systematic Review presents compelling evidence of the benefits of continuous birth support on outcomes ranging from shorter labors to higher 5-minute Apgar scores, there are gaps in literature that exclusively focus on continuous support from doulas. The literature review aims to determine both qualitative and quantitative outcomes of doula care on the mother and baby during the labor and post-partum periods, focusing on specific aggregates, such as adolescents, women with low incomes, and women with intellectual disabilities. CINAHL and PubMed were systematically searched, and the sixteen studies that met criteria were analyzed by study design, purpose, population characteristics, results, and variables. The analysis reveals a variety of benefits, such as lower rates of C-section, prematurity, epidural anesthesia, and higher rates of breastfeeding, associated with doula care and virtually no drawbacks. Recommendations regarding implementation of the findings include Medicaid-funded doula programs, a more culturally and ethnically diverse doula workforce, and increased doula training in communication and relationship building.


doula, patient satisfaction, obstetrics, mother