Maternal Health and Wellbeing

Multi-site implementation of a promising innovation in low income communities: support for childbearing women

Project Duration

December 2011 – July 2013


NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation programme now incorporated into NIHR HS and DR programme

Project Staff

  • Prof Helen Spiby 1
  • Prof Josephine Green 2
  • Dr Helen Duncan 3
  • Julie Scarfe 4
  • Jenny McLeish

Staff Institutions

  1. The University of Nottingham
  2. University of York 
  3. Yorkshire and Humber Public Health Observatory 
  4. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


To answer four broad questions: 

What are the: 

  1. implications for the NHS of a volunteer doula service for disadvantaged childbearing women?
  2. health and psychosocial impacts for women? 
  3. impacts on doulas? 
  4. processes of implementing and sustaining a volunteer doula service for disadvantaged childbearing women?


Multi-site study at NHS maternity services and third sector organisations including questionnaires, interviews and focus groups with midwives, doulas and childbearing women.

Stage of Development

This is a current project.

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Final report


Contact for further information

Helen Spiby



Maternal Health and Wellbeing Research Group

The University of Nottingham
School of Health Sciences
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 823 0820