Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Medical Science (MMSc)

First Advisor

Katherine Harper Campbell, MD, MPH


Appropriate gestational weight gain is important for a healthy pregnancy. Poor weight gain and excess weight gain are associated with increased risk of numerous adverse pregnancy outcomes. Doulas—trained professionals who provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to mothers before, during, and shortly after childbirth—have been shown to foster numer-ous health benefits for both mother and child. However, no studies to date have examined the ef-fects of doula support on gestational weight gain. We propose a randomized controlled trial in pregnant women to determine whether community doulas are effective in promoting adher-ence to established gestational weight gain guidelines. We hypothesize that women with doula support will be more likely to adhere to recommended weight gain compared to women without doula support. The results of this study may help guide health policy towards improving access to doulas and reducing health disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access