Over the past couple of years, there has been an increased focus in both research and policy on the role of birth doulas as an intervention to address structural inequities in the US health care system and reduce health care disparities. In response to this interest in doula services, there has been multiple state bills to expand Medicaid coverage to pay for doula services. This rapid response brief provides an overview of research on the birth doula workforce that has been published since January 2021, including workforce challenges and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on doulas. We discuss the available data to study the doula workforce. We begin with a brief overview of the doula workforce for which literature has been emerging. We will also highlight opportunities and research needs to support the doula workforce in the US.
Authors:Guenther G, Kett P, Skillman SM, Frogner BK
Journal/Publisher:Center for Health Workforce Studies, University of Washington
Documents:Rapid Response Brief
Citation:Guenther G, Kett P, Skillman SM, Frogner BK. The Birth Doula Workforce in the U.S.: Rapid Response Brief. Center for Health Workforce Studies, University of Washington. Aug 2022
Related Studies:Increasing Access to Doulas to Support a Diverse Population