This is the first in-depth qualitative study on community doulas in England. This paper explores how the antenatal and postnatal role of the community doula is experienced and understood by the volunteer doulas and the disadvantaged women who they support. 

It finds that volunteer doula support before and after birth can have a positive impact on maternal emotional wellbeing, by reducing anxiety, unhappiness and stress, and increasing self-esteem and self-efficacy. Doulas help mothers feel more knowledgeable and skilful, support them to make effective use of maternity services, and enable them to build social ties in their community.

By Jenny McLeish and Maggie Redshaw

Published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Community volunteer doulas
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