Child Wellness Begins At Pregnancy
The Doula Program serves as a highly effective program in the deterrence of child abuse and neglect. Through positive, persistent, outreach services and in-home visits, at-risk parents learn about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post-partum care.
The Doula Program reaches out to young, mothers and fathers who would like support services. The Public Health Department, doctors, schools and other community agencies refer parents to the Doula Program during pregnancy.
Once referred to the program, a doula determines if the parent meets eligibility requirements. Doulas screen and assess parents for maternal depression, domestic violence, and parental stress. The program seeks to improve family health through prenatal visits, support during labor and delivery, and postnatal support. These visits include parent education on infant and child development and appropriate care, infant stimulation, brain development, and nutrition. Doula helps parents with stress management, breast feeding, problem solving skills and safety education. The cumulative effect of these efforts strengthens families and reduces the risk of child abuse and neglect. The family remains in the program until the child is 6-8 weeks old and then is referred to long-term home visiting services.
Pregnant clients may also elect to receive the services of the Doula Program. This program provides prenatal information and emotional support, labor coaching, and breastfeeding support and assistance in the early days after labor. Expecting mothers may enroll in the Doula Program during their third trimester.
The Doula Program is part of the Parents Care + Share and has developed parent support groups that address prenatal needs, maternal depression, and offer general parent to parent support.
Children’s Home & Aid’s Doula Program is fully accredited by COA. The doulas obtain certification through Doulas of North America. The Doula Program has staff that are certified lactation counselors.