The West Virginia Perinatal Partnership was awarded a $100,000 grant from the UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia. These funds will expand the reach of doula services offered to pregnant and postpartum women in underserved and vulnerable communities in West Virginia throughout 2022.
This grant will help improve pregnancy outcomes for mothers and babies by educating doulas who live, and will serve, in the same communities. Additionally, this new project will enhance and expand services to improve maternal and infant health disparities.
The grant specifically focuses on educating doulas, establishing, and updating an online doula registry for West Virginia, providing grand rounds for labor and delivery units; collecting data; and obtaining curriculum and educational materials for expectant mothers, providers, and childbirth educators.
The WV Perinatal Partnership will work in collaboration with the WV Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health and the WV Rural Maternity and Obstetric Management Services program to build upon the success of this doula project to enhance and to expand services for pregnant and postpartum women and their families in the state.
What benefits do doulas offer?
Birth doulas provide support in some of the following ways:
- Offering breathing and positioning techniques during labor
- Empowering mothers to advocate for their health care preferences,
- Serving as a liaison with providers,
- Sharing guidance with family members
- Providing breastfeeding assistance.
Postpartum doulas mentor mothers after the baby is born and may see to the mother’ support for several weeks after birth.
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