Project Title

Doulas Effect on Maternal Mortality and How Race and Culture Can Positively Affect the Patients



Document Type

Undergraduate Project





Faculty Mentor

Cynthia McCloskey


Doulas are an important tool in pregnancy; and can now start to close the gap patients feel culturally, racially and personally with their doctor. RMAPI Summer Fellows focused on the impact doulas can have on decreasing the rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. One aspect for further exploration looked to see if doulas matched more closely with the patient on certain variables would make a difference in the patient comfort and outcomes.

Two different studies looked at the effect of close personal connection between doulas and patients and race, ethnical, and cultural similarities. The first study showed high stress can affect mothers and babies and when the mother is feeling like she can’t connect to her caregiver, problems will arise, worst cases being the mother completely turns away the doulas care, or negative stress added to the baby and moms which can deplete their health.

A second study investigated the role of having a friend or family member as a doula can have positive effects on the mother and baby. Initial results showed short term increased attachment between mother and baby, babies taking to feeding better, and decreased depression levels in mothers.

RMAPI can use this information to properly match mothers with doulas and even get more people involved with becoming a doula. Long term this could lower the rate of maternal mortality and morbidity in Rochester and help to create a better life postnatal for mother and child.