Implementing Doula Support at BIDMC

The multidisciplinary Supportive Birth Collaborative (SBC) team is made up of obstetricians, anesthesiologists, nurses, doulas, students, social workers, administrators, and researchers who are all working together to improve pregnancy and postpartum care at BIDMC. We work closely with community doula programs to help meet the needs of our patients.

Read more about the benefits of having a doula on our recent blog post.

Current and Ongoing Projects

As part of the SBC’s mission to improve pregnancy and postpartum care, we have created three sub-committees to streamline work and increase our impact.

  • Education: the education sub-committee is focused on developing, implementing and testing educational materials, programs and curricula for physicians, nurses, residents, medical students and other clinicians at BIDMC.
  • Policy: the policy sub-committee is focused on revising existing BIDMC policies and creating new ones to further the seamless integration of doula support for all patients.
  • Research: the research sub-committee is focused on surveying and evaluating the work of the SBC to better meet the needs of our patient population.

Some highlights include from the past year include:

  • Successfully changing hospital policy to recognize doulas as members of the care team instead of as a support person, increasing the total number of support people allowed in labor rooms.
  • Standardizing and implementing doula representation in patients’ electronic medical records and hospital room signage.
  • Hosting educational sessions for physicians, residents and nurses on the importance and availability of doula support.
  • Conducting surveys for clinicians and doulas aimed at improving birthing experiences for patients.

Over the next two years, we plan to build on our successful model by expanding our cross-cadre educational events, creating nursing toolkits for doula engagement, developing doula-supported postpartum care groups, and conducting community-engaged research evaluating the effects of our efforts.