Evidence Base

HealthConnect One’s Community-Based Doula model and approach to birth equity for doulas, breastfeeding peer counselors and other community health workers has been the focus of many studies and articles. Here are a few.

Research on Community-Based Programs 

Bakst, Chloe, Jennifer E. Moore, Karen E. George, Karen Shea. (May 2020). Community-Based Maternal Support Services: The Role of Doulas and Community Health Workers in MedicaidInstitute for Medicaid Innovation. Report


Ellmann, Nora. (April 14, 2020) Community-Based Doulas and Midwives: Key to Addressing the U.S. Maternal Health CrisisCenter for American Progress Article and Video


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children & Families Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness. (June 2015) Implementing HealthConnect One’s® Community-Based Doula Program Program Profile Web Page


Edwards, R.C., Thullen, M., Korfmacher, J., Lantos, J.D., Henson, L.G., and Hans, S.L. (2013). Breastfeeding and Complementary Food: Randomized Trial of Community Doula Home Visiting Pediatrics, 132:Supplement 2 S160-S166 Abstract


Hans, S. L., Thullen, M., Henson, L. G., Lee, H., Edwards, R. C. and Bernstein, V. J. (2013). Promoting Positive Mother–Infant Relationships: A Randomized Trial of Community Doula Support for Young Mothers Infant Mental Health Journal, 34: 446–457 Abstract


Altfeld, S. (2002).The Chicago Doula Project Evaluation Final Report The Ounce of Prevention Fund: Chicago, IL Download from HealthConnect One  

Value of Breastfeeding

Bartick, M. C., Stuebe, A. M., Schwarz, E. B., Luongo, C., Reinhold, A. G., Foster, E. M. (2013, July). Cost Analysis of Maternal Disease Associated With Suboptimal Breastfeeding Obstetrics & Gynecology: Volume 122 – Issue 1 – p 111–119. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318297a047 Abstract


Bartick M. and Reinhold A. (2010, May). The Burden of Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: a Pediatric Cost Analysis Pediatrics. 125(5):e1048-56. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-1616 Abstract

Additional Research and Commentary

Novoa, Cristina. (January 31, 2020). Ensuring Healthy Births Through Prenatal Support: Innovations From Three Models Center for American Progress Early ChildhoodArticle


Taylor, Jamila, Cristina Novoa, Katie Hamm, and Shilpa Phadke. (May 2, 2019). Eliminating Racial Disparities in Maternal and Infant Mortality: A Comprehensive Policy Blueprint. Center for American Progress Article


Main, Malkia. (June 2017). Beyond the Breast: Culturally Competent Doulas as a Breastfeeding Intervention University of Washington School of Public Health Northwest Bulletin. Volume 32, Breastfeeding Article


Romano, A. (2014, November 14). Care Models That Work: Community-Based Doulas Maternity Neighborhood Article


Lombardi, J., Mosle, A., Patel, N., Schumacher, R. and Stedron, J. (2014). Gateways to Two Generations: The Potential for Early Childhood Programs and Partnerships to Support Children and Their Parents Together Ascend at The Aspen Institute – Promising Approaches, p. 16 Report


Cawthorne, A. and Arons, J. (2010, January 5). There’s No Place Like Home: Home Visiting Programs Can Support Pregnant Women and New Parents Center for American Progress: Washington, DC Memo


Gentry, Q. M., Nolte, K. M., Gonzalez, A., Pearson, M., and Ivey, S. (2010). Going Beyond the Call of Doula: A Grounded Theory Analysis of the Diverse Roles Community-Based Doulas Play in the Lives of Pregnant and Parenting Adolescent Mothers The Journal of Perinatal Education, 19(4): 24–40. doi: 10.1624/105812410X530910 Abstract


Amnesty International Publications. (2010, updated 2011). Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA Amnesty International Secretariat, London Report


Brown, M. H. (2008, April 11). Chicago Project Delivers Support to Young Mothers-to-Be Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships: Program Results / Grant ID: 29806 Report download

You can also download this list as a PDF as well as a downloadable three-page case statement highlighting the benefits of the community-based home visiting model and  brief timeline of community-based doula program replication.

Looking for something else, or know of a resource that we are missing? Let us know via our Contact Form or reach out directly to Evaluation and Learning Lead Sadie Wych, swych@healthconnectone.org.

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The impacts of HealthConnect One and the community-based doula model are transformative. There is no greater work in our communities than building stronger families and advocating for the health and wellness of the youngest members. 

Cheryl Hunter, author Understanding Doulas and Childbirth: Women, Love, and Advocacy