Birth Companions Talk Doulas and Maternal Health with Mayor Brandon Scott

Birth Companions Talk Doulas and Maternal Health with Mayor Brandon Scott

Recently, Birth Companions community outreach leaders Izzey Chapman, Katharine Peterson, and Lexy Olson presented their program at Kick It with the Candidates, an event that hosted by the Baltimore Urban League, Baltimore NAACP, Zeta Phi Beta, to introduce the community to candidates running for mayor in Baltimore. They connected with Mayor Brandon Scott and candidates Wayne Baker, Wendy Bozel, Texas Brown, Sheila Dixon, Kevin Harris, Wendell Hill-Freeman, Yolanda Pulley, Bob Wallace, Nick Mosby, and Zeke Cohen and shared how we can better support women during birth.

Presently, Birth Companions is a course and program designed to teach students how to be a doula, and work with women and families throughout the pregnancy.

Led by Laura Lucas, DNP, CNS, RNC, RNC-OB, students train to become act as advocates and doulas for women and birthing people during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and beyond through education, physical comfort measures, evidence-based interventions, and emotional support. For pregnant people, the program is a free, community-based service.

Learn more about the Birth Companions.

Why doulas?

Birthing people supported by doulas are more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births, shorter labors, and generally births with less complications.

Right now, Noelene K. Jeffers, PhD, CNM, IBCLC, assistant professor at the School of Nursing, is exploring how to integrate doulas into health systems and support Black Maternal Health.

Her study is funded by the Institute for Policy Solutions, entitled, “Identifying Research Priorities for Promoting Black Maternal Health Equity Through Partnerships Between Community Based Doulas and Health Care Systems.” Phase one just completed; she brought together doulas, policy experts, health care providers, payers, and patient advocates in the Mid-Atlantic region to discuss building equitable partnerships between doulas and the health care system.

Read more about it in “Forging Policy: How Can Doulas Improve Black Maternal Health?”

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