Views of Doulas, Childbirth Educators and Labor and Delivery Nurses on Each Other, Emotional Burnout and Quality Improvement: Results from the Maternity Support Survey
Megan M. Henley and Christine H. Morton
This presentation provides an overview of results from the Maternity Support Survey, the first cross-national survey of doulas, childbirth educators, and labor and delivery nurses across the United States and Canada. Despite research on the benefits of supportive care during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, most researchers have explored how mothers and families view this care, with less attention to the views and experiences of individuals who provide such care (Liva et al. 2012; Morton & Clift, 2014). Similarly, research on maternity care providers has largely focused on midwives and obstetricians, neglecting the important roles of labor and delivery nurses, childbirth educators, and doulas (Monari et al. 2008; Morton & Clift, 2014; Reime et al. 2004; Smith et al. 2009). As a result, previous studies have not systematically studied or compared the practices and perceptions of workers who provide informational, emotional and physical support and advocacy to pregnant women. To address this gap in the literature, the Maternity Support Survey asked maternity support workers (doulas, childbirth educators, labor and delivery nurses) for their views on typical childbirth practices, their sense of efficacy in their maternity support roles, their orientation toward maternity support as a job or career, and their experiences with the American or Canadian health care system. This presentation is designed to inform learners of key findings from the Maternity Support Survey. These findings can increase participants’ knowledge of notable differences between these roles in terms of attitudes toward childbirth practices and toward other maternity support roles.