Date of Graduation

Summer 8-12-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Monica De La Cruz


Adverse birth outcomes for both the parent and the child disproportionately affect people of color. Evidence demonstrates that one of the ways to mitigate these negative consequences is through the utilization of a doula, a trained birth companion that is not a medical provider but whose role it is to physically and emotionally support the patient through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Community-based doula programs, where the doula is of the same cultural background as the client, are particularly effective in improving birth outcomes in communities of color by providing culturally competent care and helping to navigate a healthcare system that continues to demonstrate the pervasiveness of institutionalized racism. Despite their efficacy, community-based doula programs face a number of challenges, including funding constraints, ongoing COVID-19 disruptions to care, and a lack of public awareness about the benefit and availability of doula services.