Establishment of a Somali doula program at a large metropolitan hospital

J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. Apr-Jun 2006;20(2):128-37. doi: 10.1097/00005237-200604000-00006.


To meet the unique cultural needs of Somali childbearing women in the United States, a doula support program was implemented at a major midwestern teaching hospital in the spring of 2002. To date, 123 Somali women who have been served by a Somali doula have given birth to live infants at this hospital. Cesarean birth rates in Somali women who had a doula present at birth were lower than the cesarean birth rate for Somali women not attended by a doula. Surveys with the nursing staff indicate that the nurses who have worked with a doula 3 or more times felt more confident caring for Somali women than nurses who have not worked with a doula at least 3 times. Patient feedback indicates positive attitudes about the doula service. Further research needs and suggestions for establishing such a program in other institutions are included.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric / ethnology*
  • Midwestern United States
  • Midwifery / organization & administration*
  • Models, Nursing
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Obstetric Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Somalia / ethnology
  • Transcultural Nursing / organization & administration*