Our Doula partners are an integral part of our work to improve, protect, and advance Black Maternal and Child Health in Dane County. Doulas are trained professionals who provide emotional, physical, and informational support to mothers, birthing people and their family members before, during and after childbirth to help ensure the healthiest pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum experience possible. Our Doula partners play a central role in supporting Black mothers and birthing people through their perinatal journey.
Though Doulas are not medical professionals, they are trained birth support workers whose knowledge and skills empower their clients to shape and direct their birthing experiences in the way they desire. Doulas help their clients to create intentional birthing plans, help facilitate better communication between patients and their medical caregivers that improves the care they receive; help clients to identify additional resources or support they may need to support a healthy pregnancy and birth; and are present at the birth to provide emotional and physical support in labor and delivery. Our Doula partners also provide postpartum support to clients in the immediate weeks following birth to ensure a healthy transition into motherhood for the parent and baby.
Research consistently and increasingly suggests that the presence and support of doulas helps improve birth outcomes and well-being for birthing people. These improvements may include but are not limited to decreasing the number of C-sections, reducing the length of labor or the use of pain medications, increasing breastfeeding levels, and decreasing postpartum depression by providing additional emotional support and presence.
To learn more about our Black Maternal and Child Health Initiatives, programs and supports for mothers and birthing people, contact Mbsmith@ffbww.org