A Randomized Control Trial of Continuous Support in Labor by a Lay Doula
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2006
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 35, Issue 4, pages 456–464, July 2006
How to Cite
Campbell, D. A., Lake, M. F., Falk, M. and Backstrand, J. R. (2006), A Randomized Control Trial of Continuous Support in Labor by a Lay Doula. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 35: 456–464. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2006.00067.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2006
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2006
- Accepted: February 2006
- Being with woman;
- Continuous labor support;
- Labor support;
- Maternal outcomes
Objective: To compare labor outcomes in women accompanied by an additional support person (doula group) with outcomes in women who did not have this additional support person (control group).
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: A women's ambulatory care center at a tertiary perinatal care hospital in New Jersey.
Patients/participants: Six hundred nulliparous women carrying a singleton pregnancy who had a low-risk pregnancy at the time of enrollment and were able to identify a female friend or family member willing to act as their lay doula.
Interventions: The doula group was taught traditional doula supportive techniques in two 2-hour sessions.
Main Outcome Measures: Length of labor, type of delivery, type and timing of analgesia/anesthesia, and Apgar scores.
Results: Significantly shorter length of labor in the doula group, greater cervical dilation at the time of epidural anesthesia, and higher Apgar scores at both 1 and 5 minutes. Differences did not reach statistical significance in type of analgesia/anesthesia or cesarean delivery despite a trend toward lower cesarean delivery rates in the doula group.
Conclusion: Providing low-income pregnant women with the option to choose a female friend who has received lay doula training and will act as doula during labor, along with other family members, shortens the labor process. JOGNN, 35, 456–464; 2006. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00067.x