Building Perinatal Support Professionals Project
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia is excited to announce the Building Perinatal Support Professionals Project (BPSP). This project seeks to increase the number of qualified perinatal support professionals serving communities most at risk for poor birth outcomes in Georgia. Through funding by United Way of Greater Atlanta, the BPSP Project will provide scholarship and support for a cohort of 20 women to receive credentialing as certified doulas or childbirth educators.
Recent research has demonstrated that doula-assisted mothers were four times less likely to have a low birth weight baby, two times less likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their baby, and significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding. According to a 2014 retrospective analysis of a nationally representative survey of women who delivered a singleton baby in a US hospital in 2011-2012, black and publicly insured women were almost twice as likely as white, privately insured women to report wanting but not having doula care. This information highlights the lack of available doulas serving women of color and publicly insured women, as well as the cost barrier associated with doula care.
Similarly, prenatal education has been found to positively impact birth outcomes. Some of the benefits associated with prenatal education classes include, higher likelihood of breastfeeding, improved communication between childbearing women and their maternity care providers, decreased need for analgesic medication in labor, and increased satisfaction with birth.
The Building Perinatal Support Professionals Project will increase the availability of certified childbirth educators and doulas, as well as create opportunities for economic self-sufficiency for the cohort members. Furthermore, the support professions allow for the women to practice on their own time, to become credentialed over a period of time that suits their current work or life schedules, and encourages the development of entrepreneurial skills needed to gain new clients and partners to build their practice.
If you or a woman you know has an interest in the above-mentioned professions, please click the button below to register for the upcoming information seminars. In addition, if you are a certified doula or childbirth educator and have an interest in becoming a mentor for our cohort members, please click the mentor button to request more information.
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Here’s to better access to perinatal support professionals, increased economic self-sufficiency, and positive birth outcomes in Georgia! Happy New Year!
- Gruber, K., Cupito, S. & Dobson, C. Impact of Doulas on Healthy Birth Outcomes. The Journal of Perinatal Education. Accessed online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3647727/
- Kozhimannil, K. etal. Potential Benefits of Increased Access to Doula Support During Childbirth. Accessed online: http://www.ajmc.com/journals/issue/2014/2014-vol20-n8/potential-benefits-of-increased-access-to-doula-support-during-childbirth
- Enkin M, Keirse M, Neilson J, Crowther C, Duley L, Hodnett E. A guide to effective care in pregnancy and childbirth. 2000 et al. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Chalmers B., Kingston D. (2009). Prenatal classes. In What mothers say: The Canadian Maternity Care Experience Survey (pp. 47–50) Ottawa, Canada: Public Health Agency of Canada