Today’s blog is written by Molly Chappell-McPhail, Executive Director of BirthMatters.
Beginnings are always about possibility—and our work at BirthMatters centers on that very belief. Our new mission statement is: BirthMatters seeks to reduce teen pregnancy through reproductive health education and to provide doula support to vulnerable expectant mothers and their families.
We want to ensure that expectant mothers from under-resourced communities offer their babies the best possible beginning in life. Last year, our doulas served forty families, providing education, emotional support, and other critical services to promote healthy pregnancies and optimal birth outcomes.
On February 21, 2017, BirthMatters celebrated its fourth community doula graduation. The twenty-session community doula training replicates the evidence-based program from HealthConnect One. Twelve different trainers from varied disciplines and nine trainees participated in sessions from August 30, 2016 to December 20, 2016. The graduation celebrated seven trainees that successfully completed the training.
The main purpose of the training is to help create a more supportive community for expectant families in under served communities. We recruited moms that had been previously served by BirthMatters. During the graduation, trainees spoke about their personal journey. One trainee shared “my confidence and self esteem increased because of this training.” Another trainee shared her emotional story of being young and pregnant and her desire to serve others who may find themselves in a similar situation.
BirthMatters only hires doulas who have successfully completed the training. The evidence is clear, when a mom is served with a community-based doula, her infant is healthier and she becomes self-sufficient.