Implementing HealthConnect One's® Community-Based Doula Program

Implementation last updated: 2015

The information in this profile reflects feedback, if provided, from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model(s) here may differ from how the model(s) was implemented in the research reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the HHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness. Similarly, models described here may not all have impact studies, and those with impact studies may vary in their effectiveness. Please see the Effectiveness button on the left for more information about research on the effectiveness of the models discussed here.

Prerequisites for implementation

Type of implementing program

Community-Based Doula Programs are implemented by a variety of organizations, including social service agencies, hospitals, and community health centers.

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Staffing requirements

Program staff include doulas, a supervisor, and a site director. HC One recommends sites employ at least two doulas. If the supervisor is not a midwife, labor and delivery nurse, or obstetric or pediatric health care professional, a clinical expert should be retained as a consultant for training and support.

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Staff education and experience

Doulas must be members of the target population they serve. Women who have given birth and breastfed are preferred. Doulas are selected for the program based on skills and personal qualities, rather than formal educational levels, although many organizations require a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential.

HC One recommends supervisors be public health professionals or social workers, with maternal-child health clinical experience, program management and supervisory experience, and experience working with a diverse work force and clientele.

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Supervision requirements

Doulas receive weekly supervision. The clinical expert provides professional support for health-related problems that doulas identify.

HC One recommends a ratio of one part-time supervisor for two full-time doulas.

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Staff ratio requirements

Doulas attend up to 25 births per year. Caseloads generally should not exceed more than 12 women at one time but may vary depending on length of services provided.

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Data systems/technology requirements

HC One recommends sites use Doula Data, a web-based data collection and monitoring tool that tracks 419 indicators throughout a family’s involvement in the program. Doulas enter data on clients’ history; labor and delivery; service participation, including prenatal and postpartum contacts; and outcomes. Supervisors use Doula Data to review case information.

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Implementation notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in June 2015. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the HealthConnect One on April 30, 2015. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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