Doulas in the Operating Room: An Innovative Approach to Supporting Skin-to-Skin Care During Cesarean Birth.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

INTRODUCTION:Skin-to-skin care (SSC) immediately after birth is recommended for all women and their newborns. Barriers to SSC after cesarean birth lead to delays in initiation of this practice. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to implement an innovative approach with volunteer doulas to support initiation of SSC after cesarean for all clients. PROCESS:Volunteer doulas in a well-established hospital-based program within an academic health center were trained to provide care during scheduled cesarean births in the operating and recovery rooms. Data on rate and time of SSC and client and nurse satisfaction were collected for a 12-week period. OUTCOMES:Sixty-six women received doula-supported care in the operating room. All medically stable woman-newborn couplets with complete data (N = 58) initiated SSC in the operating room and were included in the data analysis. Forty-eight women completed a feedback survey after birth. Scores indicated that clients agreed or strongly agreed that the doula was an important part of the birth experience. Feedback from labor and delivery nurses indicated highly positive attitudes about the importance of SSC and the presence of volunteer doulas. All nurses surveyed who had participated in doula care (n = 20) agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with the doulas and that the doulas were prepared for this role. DISCUSSION:This project demonstrates that volunteer doulas can be prepared to provide supportive care to clients during and immediately after cesarean birth. Doulas can play an integral role in supporting the initiation of SSC after cesarean birth and are perceived as an important member of the maternity health care team by clients and nurses.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lanning, RK; Oermann, MH; Waldrop, J; Brown, LG; Thompson, JA

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 112 - 117

PubMed ID

  • 30548422

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1542-2011

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1526-9523

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jmwh.12930


  • eng