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Presentation Information

Dr. Amy Gilliland

The Doula Effect: how and why doulas help mothers have shorter labors, less pain, and more satisfying births

  • Speaker: Dr. Amy Gilliland , PhD
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, .1 Midwifery CEU

Doula support practices of mothers during labor and birth are complex processes that involve attachment behaviors, therapeutic strategies, and communication skills. Similar to the infant relying on a primary caregiver as an attachment figure, the mother relies on the doula as a secure base during labor. In both situations the doula and caregiver are available for assistance; can accurately perceive her emotional needs; effectively represent her interests; are strong and capable physically and emotionally; and have resources that the mother or infant does not possess. Additionally, the rhythm and ritual of labor support set the stage for attunement between doula and mother, similar to the attunement process between mother and infant outlined by Daniel Stern. This research is significant since it provides a strong theoretical basis why doulas are effective; namely that they provide a focus for attachment behavior and provide a secure base for the laboring mother. The doula as a secure base theory also offers a well developed explanation why nurses have been shown to be less effective than doulas in obtaining the same outcomes. Except in unusual situations, nurses and fathers are unable to fulfill many of these attachment functions for mothers. With further development, this may become the fundamental theory of doula support.

Live Presentation Schedule

Oct 27, 2014