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Maven Clinic recently published peer-reviewed research in “Obstetrics and Gynecology,” presenting a comprehensive analysis of the effects of virtual doula care on maternal health outcomes. This first-of-its-kind study, which draws from data involving nearly 9,000 Maven members, examines the comparative efficacy of virtual doula care to traditional in-person support.

The research underscores that virtual doula care can improve birth experiences and reduce the incidence of Cesarean sections (C-sections), showing results similar to in-person doula support. Significantly, the study notes the pronounced impact of virtual care on Black members, indicating its potential to mitigate disparities in maternal health outcomes.

Despite the established benefits of doula support, it remains underutilized, with only a small percentage of U.S. births involving doulas, often due to accessibility barriers. Maven Clinic’s findings suggest virtual doula care as a viable option to broaden access to these services.

The study highlights several key points: attending two or more virtual doula appointments can significantly reduce the odds of undergoing a C-section, especially for those with prior C-sections; individuals using virtual doula services reported enhanced birth experiences, including better support in decision-making, access to accurate information, and improved mental health management; and a notable decrease in C-section rates among Black members, emphasizing the importance of virtual care in promoting health equity.

“At every point in our nine year history, the Maven care model has included doulas. We have long heard from our members just how crucial they are in increasing a family’s comfort and confidence during and after pregnancy,” said Kate Ryder, Founder and CEO of Maven Clinic. “These findings reaffirm what we’ve also seen in our data: that virtual doulas have a critical role to play in driving better maternal health outcomes.”

“This is an extraordinary scientific result. The evidence on the benefits of doulas has been clear for decades but the challenge has always been that communities who need them most are seldom able to access them,” said Dr. Neel Shah, Chief Medical Officer of Maven Clinic. “It is encouraging that virtual access to doulas can have such a profound impact on birth experiences and outcomes, particularly among Black mothers who are made most vulnerable by inequities in our system.” 

The research by Maven Clinic offers valuable insights into the potential of virtual doula care in enhancing maternal health outcomes and suggests a promising direction for healthcare providers to consider in their efforts to provide equitable, accessible, and comprehensive care.

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