Training abortion doulas in Northern Ireland: lessons from a COVID-19 context

Emma Campbell, Naomi Connor, Suzie Heaney, Fiona K. Bloomer

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


Historically, societies have long-standing traditions of birth doulas, as lay persons who support the pregnant woman/person during the birthing process, with contemporary studies affirming their positive impact.1

In parallel, abortion doulas have held roles in assisting in abortion.2 The role centres on emotional and social support, with evidence of their impact increasing in the last decade.3–5 While some doulas operate within specific roles, a full-spectrum doula is involved in all reproductive health outcomes.3

While the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges for sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) broadly and in particular abortion services,6–8 it also presented opportunities including abortion doulas working alongside clinical services to complement and be integrated within SRH. In this article we set out the development of abortion doula training in Northern Ireland (NI), within the pandemic context.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
JournalBMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health
Early online date18 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 12 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This study was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.


  • COVID-19
  • abortion
  • induced
  • Pregnancy
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Humans
  • Doulas
  • Female
  • Northern Ireland
  • Abortion, Induced


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