Domains of Postpartum Doula Care and Maternal Responsiveness and Competence
Article first published online: 16 MAR 2009
© 2009 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 38, Issue 2, pages 148–156, March/April 2009
How to Cite
McComish, J. F. and Visger, J. M. (2009), Domains of Postpartum Doula Care and Maternal Responsiveness and Competence. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 38: 148–156. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2009.01002.x
- Issue published online: 16 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 16 MAR 2009
- Accepted November 2008
- postpartum doula care;
- maternal responsiveness;
- maternal competence;
- maternal issues related to postpartum;
- qualitative analysis;
- participant observation
Objective: To describe the domains of postpartum doula care and illustrate how doulas facilitate development of maternal responsiveness and competence.
Design: Qualitative study using ethnographic method of participant observation.
Setting: Homes of mothers who received postpartum doula care.
Participants: Thirteen women and their infants; 4 postpartum doulas.
Results: Eleven domains emerged: emotional support, physical comfort, self-care, infant care, information, advocacy, referral, partner/father support, support mother/father with infant, support mother/father with sibling care, and household organization. Emotional support was used consistently and in combination with the other domains. Activities in all of the domains were used to facilitate the development of maternal responsiveness and maternal competence with 3 issues: resolution of infant feeding, integrating the infant into the family, and supporting developmental care and attachment.
Conclusions: Data suggest that by using 11 domains of care, postpartum doulas facilitate maternal responsiveness and competence. Development of a long-term relationship, mother-centered care, and education and support related to infant feeding, integrating the infant into family, and developmental care and attachment may contribute to these outcomes.