Social Science

Undergraduate Student Presenter Information

Emely Matos, University of Central FloridaFollow

Faculty Mentor

Angela Vergara

Faculty Mentor Primary Department

Department of Psychology

Year of Presentation


Project Abstract, Summary, or Creative Statement

Over the last few decades there has been a shift in believing that the only safe way to give birth is to do so at a hospital, under the watchful gaze of physicians. Rather, an increasing number of families are entrusting that care to doulas and midwives, women who provide continuous support to pregnant mothers during and after labor (Olsen, 2018). This trend may have come, in part, from the realization that the United States has a terribly high maternal mortality rate (de Brantes, 2019). This mortality rate becomes far more convoluted when racial and ethnic statistics are taken into account. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), white women have a ratio of 13.0 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, Asian mothers have a ratio of 14.1, while black mothers have reached a shocking 42.4. As it stands today, the United States holds one of the highest maternal mortality rates out of all developed nations. These numbers, when taken at face value, clearly indicate that there is a severe health disparity present in our country - a disparity that most strongly affects women of color (de Brantes, 2019). However, research shows that women who have been assisted by a doula, or otherwise reported an overall decrease in some of the negative factors most commonly linked with higher maternal mortality rates present in the United States (Uban, 2012). This study evaluates the impact community doulas have on the perinatal outcomes of women of color.


reproduction, reproductive justice, community, doula, community doula, low income, mothers, maternal mortality rate


Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Community Doulas' Impact on Women of Color with Low Incomes


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