"Effects were strongest when the caregiver was neither a member of the hospital staff nor a person in the woman’s social network, and was present solely to provide one-to-one supportive care, such as a doula."
I wonder then, does that mean I shouldn't be a doula for my friends? What is it that made the subjects of this study do better when the person was not part of their social network? Perhaps we should just interpret that to mean that an untrained friend is not of as much benefit as a trained doula?
Regardless of how we interpret that part, I think the results are clear and consistent with other studies. Having a doula, in general, has a dramatic impact on birth outcomes. I hope that one day it'll be a reality in this country that every woman who wants a doula, has one!