Dr. Kennell was one of the very first scientists to research and investigate the benefits of continuous labor support for birthing women, and along with Dr. Klaus, Penny Simkin, Annie Kennedy and Phyllis Klaus, founded Doulas of North America, which later became DONA International, a well-respected , worldwide doula organization committed to training both birth and postpartum doulas and providing a doula for every woman who wants one.
“Many, many thousands of women have birthed with the support of a doula, enjoying the benefits observed by Drs. Kennell and Klaus when they first started their research, and documented again and again since then; shorter labors, lower cesarean rates and reduced interventions.” (Kennell, et. al 1991)
Kennell, J., Klaus, M., McGrath, S., Robertson, S., & Hinkley, C. (1991). Continuous emotional support during labor in a US hospital. JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association, 265(17), 2197-2201.