Maternity Support Survey Report about to be released!

Here is the Executive Summary:  Full report to be released later this summer!

The Maternity Support Survey is a survey of maternity support workers from across the United States and Canada that investigates the following topics:?????????????

  • Whether doulas and childbirth educators view their maternity support work as a career (including the conditions and financial challenges that maternity support workers face)
  • How doulas and childbirth educators establish their expertise (the importance of certification and other credentials)
  • How technology affects workload among labor and delivery nurses
  • How health insurance and litigation concerns influence maternity support workers, organizational protocols, and the frequency of interventions into labor and delivery
  • Emotional burnout among maternity support workers

The Maternity Support Survey partnered with the following organizations in the recruitment of participants: Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), Birthing from Within, BirthWorks, CAPPA Canada, DONA International, Health Connect One, International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), Lamaze International, and toLABOR (formerly ALACE).

Road map to the report

For this report, we provide an overview of the rationale for the survey, and background. We discuss the maternity context of the U.S. and Canada, including maternal outcomes, quality initiatives, and the role of maternity support workers in each country. The report describes the data and methods as well as partner organizations in this survey.

Next, we present basic descriptive summaries of the results of the survey using cross-tabulations and averages. We present demographic data by maternity support role. All other tables compare across roles only and include respondents from both the United States and Canada. To determine statistical significance of differences across groups, we used chi-square tests of significance and t-tests for differences in means across groups.

Highlights from the Maternity Support Survey

The majority of respondents in all roles were white women in their 40s who have a bachelor’s degree or higher. There is a great deal of consensus among the three roles in attitudes toward typical childbirth practices, but the level of agreement showed that, in many cases, doulas were likely to hold stronger views compared to childbirth educators and nurses. All three roles agreed that continuous electronic fetal monitoring has increased the cesarean rate, and that induction increases the risk of cesarean.

Future Analytic Directions

The research team is composed of scholars who have a variety of research interests. We have identified several topics for analysis in the near future. These topics and sample research questions are listed below:

  • Doula work as a career. How do doulas sustain their practice through additional training and credentials?
  • Breastfeeding attitudes and practices. How do maternity support workers compare in terms of their attitudes and practices around breastfeeding? How central is personal experience in their views on breastfeeding?
  • Emotional intelligence and emotional burnout. How do maternity support workers differ by emotional intelligence, and how does emotional intelligence mitigate emotional burnout? How do these issues affect nursing quality of care and medical errors?
  • ACA changes in doula care coverage. How might changes in reimbursement of doulas via the Affordable Care Act affect doula care work and the demographics of the doula workforce?
  • Documentation and L&D Nurses. How do L&D nurses view documentation practices and its effects, if any, on their ability to care for birthing women?
  • Orientation toward reproductive justice. How do maternity support workers compare in terms of their attitudes toward choice and rights in the context of reproductive and maternity practices?
  • Country comparisons. How are the Canadian and the U.S. maternity care systems alike and different, in terms of maternity support workers?
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Maternity Support Survey to present at Lamaze/DONA 2014

We are happy to announce that our abstract submission, Views of Doulas, Childbirth Educators and Labor and Delivery Nurses on Each Other, Emotional Burnout and Quality Improvement: Results from the Maternity Support Survey was selected as a Concurrent Session for the joint Lamaze/DONA conference program in Kansas City, MO September 18-21, 2014.

The Survey is CLOSED and the Data is COMING SOON!

Thanks to everyone who supported, shared and completed the Maternity Support Survey of doulas, childbirth educators and labor & delivery nurses in the US and Canada.

A total of 3,325 respondents completed the survey. Among them, 2,869 resided in the United States and 456 lived in Canada.

We are now busy analyzing the data.  Two members of our research team will be presenting preliminary findings at the Lamaze International Conference on Saturday October 12

  • Providing their Best Care: A Survey Comparison of Attitudes Toward Labor Practices Among Labor & Delivery Nurses, Childbirth Educators and Doulas Across the United States by Megan M. Henley, MA (University of Arizona)
  • Breastfeeding Attitudes and Practices of Doulas, Childbirth Educators and Labor & Delivery Nurses: Findings from the Maternity Support Survey by Jennifer M.S. Torres, MA

We look forward to sharing more of our findings soon.

Take the Survey!

The Maternity Support Survey asks doulas, childbirth educators, and labor and delivery nurses from across the United States and Canada about their knowledge and attitudes toward current childbirth practices, technologies and support.

It is the first study to explore three different, but related, occupations in terms of their approach to maternal support and care. This research will investigate include: whether doulas and childbirth educators view their maternity support work as a career, how doulas and childbirth educators establish their expertise, how technology affects workload among labor and delivery nurses, how maternity support workers are affected by managed care and litigation concerns, and emotional burnout among maternity support workers.

The Maternity Support Survey has partnered with the following organizations in the recruitment of participants: Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN); Birthing from Within; Lamaze International; International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA); BirthWorks; DONA International; toLABOR (formerly ALACE); and CAPPACanada.

If you are not a member of one of these national organizations OR have NOT received an email from your organization inviting you to take the survey, here’s how you can share your views:

The survey is available online for US residents here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MaternitySupportSurveyXLink
The survey is available online for Canadian residents here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MaternitySupportSurveyCAXLink

The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete, and your participation is entirely voluntary. The research team will NOT have any way of personally identifying you or your responses, and we will not contact you for any purposes unrelated to this survey or give your information to any commercial organizations. For questions or feedback, please contact Louise M. Roth, PhD <lroth at email dot arizona dot edu>
The Maternity Support Survey has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Arizona, and Louise M. Roth, PhD, is the Principal Investigator of the study. Other team members include Christine Morton, PhD (Co-PI), Marla Marek, RNC, BSN, MSN, PhD(c), Megan Henley, Nicole Heidbreder, Miriam Sessions, Jennifer Torres, and Katie Pine, PhD.