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Keywords:

  • Birth outcomes;
  • Childbirth;
  • Complementary roles;
  • conflict;
  • Doula;
  • Evidenced-based practice;
  • Labor support

Staff in maternity-care facilities are seeing an increase in doulas, nonmedical childbirth assistants, who are trained to provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational labor support. The long-term medical and psychosocial benefits are well documented. In this article, misconceptions about the doula's role are corrected, and suggestions are offered on ways to improve communication between health care providers and doulas. Together, nurses and doulas can provide birthing women with a safe and satisfying birth. JOGNN, 35, 304-311; 2006. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00041.x