During this pandemic, HealthConnect One (HC One) continues to provide training and consulting to organizations across the country. The rise in COVID-19 cases makes community-based doulas, even more, important in supporting moms and babies especially “pregnant Latina and Black women who are infected at significantly higher rates than white women.” Data shows that community-based doulas (CBD) are an important part of ensuring positive birth and lactation outcomes in vulnerable communities.
Recently, HealthConnect One did a virtual doula training for the city of Milwaukee Health Department’s Birth Outcomes Made Better Doula Program. It was led by Wandy Hernandez-Gordon, who is a DONA certified birth doula, and Brenda Reyes, lead on peer lactation services. At this time, community-based doulas need to be supported to be safe and effective in their communities. HC One trainers provide participants with the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, the long-term impact on Black and Brown communities, and resources they’re able to use through telehealth services.
In HC One’s Virtual Doula Training, participants learned the fundamentals of becoming a DONA private birth doula. They also learned about HC One’s Community-Based Doula Program that is the only home visiting program with a commitment to support birthing families prenatally, during labor and postpartum. The peer-to-peer relationship and the continuity of care creates a close-knit fabric of support around the family, which has a broad and deep impact on a variety of outcomes.
The training included an important breastfeeding educational component. “Breastfeeding provides tremendous health and mental benefit for the mother, baby, parents, and community. The trainer reviewed the recent recommendation from the World Health Organization focused on COVID-19 and lactation. “It’s important to continue supporting, protecting, and promoting breastfeeding, said Brenda Reyes. “The communities we work with can identify for themselves how they protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.”
As a result of this virtual doula training, the participants will be able to support and educate birthing families in pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. This will help and improve birth outcomes in their communities because they are educating individuals early in the process.
HealthConnect One’s birth equity work continues to be more important than ever because during this pandemic racial health disparities are even more prevalent. “Due to the pandemic, discrimination continues to impact Black and Latinx communities,” said Wandy Hernandez-Gordon. “During this time, HC One is able to advocate, educate and lend our virtual platforms to do trainings, offer free webinars and provide a platform for community health workers to share information, experiences, and seek support, during this critical time.”
Is your organization interested in a virtual doula training? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org