Our Work > Community Based Doulas
Our Community-Based Doula Program is a nationally-recognized and evidence-based model, refined over 30 years of practice and replicated in communities across the country.
Doulas are a mitigating factor for maternal mortality and many other risks to birthing families, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color.
Community-based doulas provide culturally sensitive pregnancy and childbirth education, early linkage to health care, and other services like labor coaching, breastfeeding support, and parenting education.
Who are Community-Based Doulas?
- Often of and from the same communities as their clients
- Peers who bridge language and cultural barriers to pregnancy care & education
- Help dramatically increase breastfeeding rates and decrease C-section rates
- Confidants providing extended, intensive support to families throughout pregnancy, during labor and birth, and into postpartum
Our CBD program has been replicated in 100+ communities across 27 states.
The Community-Based Doula Program is a nationally recognized and evidence-based model, refined over 20 years of practice in communities across the country
Replication involves a formal partnership between an organization or agency and HealthConnect One to create a community-based doula program with our five essential components.
Our program team works with each replication site to:
- Develop an interactive, intensive, 20-session course tailored to your strengths and needs
- Guide you through distinctive phases of planning and program development
- Provide appropriate consultation and technical support at each stage
We're proud of all our partners and the work they do but three model applications of the HealthConnect One community-based doula model are:
- Birth Matters, Spartanburg, South Carolina
- Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association, Detroit
- Open Arms Perinatal Services, Seattle, WA
Are you thinking about starting a community-based doula program? We encourage you to review the community-based doula materials on our resources page and learn more about our training methods and recent/current partners on our training page.
The Case for Community-Based Doula Replication
Since 1986, HealthConnect One has worked with maternal and child health organizations, hospitals, and grassroots organizers to design community-based, peer-to-peer support programs. Download a 3-pager outlining the benefits.
Our Community-Based Doula Program prepares participants to become birth doulas who offer care through an equity lens and a trauma-informed perspective.
It is the only home visiting program with a commitment to support birthing families prenatally, during labor, and postpartum to assist with breastfeeding, attachment, and early parenting.
Why It Works
IT BUILDS HEROES.
IT ACTIVATES COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE ENVIRONMENTS.
IT FOCUSES TIGHTLY ON A CRITICAL TIME IN A NEW FAMILY'S LIFE.
IT SUPPORTS THE CAPACITY OF MOTHERS TO PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN.
Community-Based Doula Programs have been proven to improve infant health, strengthen families, and establish support to ensure ongoing family success with:
- Improved prenatal care
- Increased breastfeeding rates
- Fewer medical interventions
- Decreased epidural use
- Fewer C-section deliveries
- Increased skin to skin contact after birth
- Increased parent-child interaction
- More positive birth experiences
- Improved parenting skills
- Lower medical costs
The implementation of community-based doula (CBD) programs provided within an equity framework reduce maternal and infant mortality and morbidity in communities of color.
Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.
A Doula Story
We collaborated with Loretha Weisinger of Marillac St. Vincent and the Kindling Group on the award-winning documentary film A Doula Story.