Honors College Thesis


When Survivors Give Birth With a Doula: A Medical Narrative Analysis Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF


Attribute NameValues
  • The purpose of this project was to examine how trauma can be manifested during birth, as well as the tools non-clinical labor support professionals called doulas can provide. I aimed to analyze the first-hand experiences of two mothers with a history of trauma, taking note of the perceived benefits of receiving doula care. I interviewed them about their birthing experiences with a doula and transformed their narratives into story format, imposing order and taking creative liberties to enhance the impact. As such, this project occurs at the intersections of creative non-fiction and ethnographic writing, medical anthropology and medical narrative. These stories provide insights into the challenges survivors may navigate during pregnancy and birth, as well as the potentially healing role an advocate may play. With these support systems, it may be possible to reduce triggering occurrences in the birth room. Based on these narratives and the reviewed literature, I argue that doulas increase the likelihood that survivors will experience their births as healing and transformative, rather than re-traumatizing. I close with some reflections on giving birth during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and a call for universal doula access for all people who desire this care, and especially for trauma survivors.
Resource Type
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Non-Academic Affiliation
Rights Statement
Peer Reviewed
Embargo reason
  • Intellectual Property (patent, etc.)
Embargo date range
  • 2020-06-02 to 2021-01-03



This work has no parents.

In Collection: