Doulas and the Need of Offering Culturally Congruent Support

Published: Jun 3, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Three pregnant woman of different race and culture

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Although cultural competency should make part of the job requirements of all healthcare providers, culturally congruent care is especially necessary for some types of Doula work.

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Culturally congruent care could be defined as providing care to a patient or client being aware and inclusive of their cultural values, beliefs, and practices. This is not only important to gain trust from clients and have a harmonious and fruitful relationship with them, but also to be able to provide individualized, tailor-made, adequate, and effective support.

In the case of ethnic, racial, social, or socioeconomic groups in a given country or state the term “cultural congruence” and its implicit meaning could also be extended to those particular groups or communities. Of course, it could then perhaps be more appropriate to use terms like “ethnic congruence,” “social congruence,” or “racial congruence,” and so on.

At any rate, culturally congruent care is especially appropriate for Community-Based Doulas, or in any case for Doulas who — at a given time — work with individuals that are part of a specific cultural, ethnic, racial, social, or socioeconomic community.

Usually, culturally congruent Doulas will be part of the community or group they work for and have a lived experience of the particular issues at hand, although this is not a strict necessity. Nevertheless, if the Doula that’s involved isn’t part of the community they (want to) work for it will naturally be much harder to gain trust and full cooperation from their clients.

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