Happy Mama Healthy Baby Community Doula Program
Happy Mamas Growing Healthy Babies.
DOULA SUPPORT AND CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION FOR LOS ANGELES FAMILIES
The Community-Based Doula Model is a unique, innovative program model that provides extended, intensive support to families throughout pregnancy, during labor and birth, and in the early months of parenting in communities that face high risks of negative birth and developmental outcomes.”
– Health Connect One from The Perinatal Revolution and Community Based Doulas (White Paper, 2014)
ENROLL OR GET INFORMATION
Complete: Parent Inquiry Form
WHAT IS A DOULA?
“Doula” is a Greek word, which means “woman servant”. Doulas are professional childbirth companions who provide physical comfort, education and advocacy skills to women and persons during childbirth and the postpartum period. Doulas are also trained to recognize complications of pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and in the newborn. While Doulas do not do anything medical, should a complication or emergency arise during pregnancy, childbirth or postpartum, the Doula can help the family quickly get medical help, potentially saving mothers and babies lives.
WATCH VIDEO FROM CHICAGO’S HEALTH CONNECT ONE ABOUT COMMUNITY-BASED DOULAS
ABOUT OUR PROGRAM
We have been providing free and low-cost Doula support in Los Angeles County since 2010. We provide new graduate Doulas with the opportunity to gain birth experiences that are required for certification while serving low-income families. Our team also is comprised of very experienced Doulas who serve higher-risk clientele or families seeking advanced Doula support.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Any family in Los Angeles County is welcome to participate. We serve families of all ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic levels. Low-income families and those with Medi-Cal can receive Doula support free of charge by a volunteer Doula.
ABOUT OUR DOULAS
We are a diverse team of Doulas who come from varied cultural backgrounds. We speak Spanish, French and African languages. Our doulas’ experience levels range from new grads to seasoned Doulas. In addition, our Doulas have a variety of educational backgrounds and certifications in childbirth education, midwifery, lactation counseling, massage therapy, social work, public health, and other disciplines.
WHAT IS THE COST?
Professional Doula services range from $500 to $2200. Pregnant women who have Medi-Cal are eligible for free services by a volunteer Doula. We do not turn anyone away for inability to pay; because every pregnant person deserves a Doula.
BENEFITS OF DOULA SUPPORT
- Decreased use of pain medication
- Decreased medical interventions
- Decreased rates of induction and augmentation of labor
- Decreased rates of cesarean section and repeat cesarean
- Decreased length of labor
- Decreased maternal depression
- Increased maternal satisfaction with the birth experience
- Increased VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) success
- Increased breastfeeding success
THE ROLE OF THE DOULA
The Doula cares for women during pregnancy, childbirth and immediately after the birth. The Doula provides non-medical support for childbearing women and persons. Doulas are not medical or midwifery providers and do not perform any clinical skills such as vaginal exams or fetal heartrate monitoring. They do not make any medical decisions. The Doula role is to empower, educate, nurture and protect childbearing persons so they can have satisfying maternity care experiences.
How Doulas Help During Pregnancy
- Educates about fetal development
- Educates about healthy nutrition & exercise
- Teaches relaxation ad mindfulness methods to reduce stress and anxiety
- Gives suggestions for coping with common discomforts of pregnancy
- Discusses options for childbirth, including pain medication options
- Discusses how to avoid an unnecessary cesarean
- Teaches labor coping skills and support methods to birth partners
- Helps client to create a birth plan
- Discusses rights and responsibilities of pregnant women and persons
- Helps client prepare to breastfeed
- Describes newborn appearance and behavior
- Prepares siblings for birth of baby
How Doula Helps During Childbirth
- Provides Physical Comfort and Massage
- Suggests Water Immersion for Pain Relief
- Encourages Vocalization
- Suggests positions that will make labor more comfortable and make labor go faster
Provide Emotional Support
Advocate & Educate
- Help client ask for what she wants in labor
- Explain what the doctor, midwife or nurse wants to do and why
- Inform clients of risks and benefits of medical decisions
- Encourages informed decision-making
- Encourages Informed Consent and Refusal
- Help the client and her partner decide what they want to do
- Provides language interpretation if needed
- Encourages Client’s Religious/Spiritual Practices
- Advocates for Respect of Client’s Cultural Traditions
- Protects Client Privacy and Intimacy
- Ensure each mamababy is treated with kindness, dignity and respect
Recognize & Refer
Doula will educate client and refer to primary medical provider if there are:
- Danger signs of pregnancy/labor
- Danger signs of postpartum
- Danger signs in the newborn
Postpartum Doula Support
- Encourages and offers support to mother in breastfeeding her baby
- Instructs mother on how to care for herself after birth
- Provides emotional support to new mothers and partners or fathers
- Helps with meal preparation & baby laundry
- Teaches new parents how care for baby including bathing, diapering, swaddling, slinging, soothing
- Encourages mother to rest so she can recover from childbirth
- Encourages parents to reflect on their childbirth experience
- Encourages parents to find support if they are feeling sad and blue
- Educates about risks and benefits of newborn procedures (circumcision, etc.)
- Connects families to resources they need (i.e., breastfeeding support groups, prenatal yoga, etc.)
WHAT IS OFFERED IN THE HAPPY MAMA HEALTHY BABY COMMUNITY DOULA PROGRAM
Three (3) one to two-hour prenatal visits will be provided during each trimester of pregnancy. Topics covered in these visits are:
- Fetal Development
- Weight Gain
- Exercise Guidelines
- Information on sexuality during pregnancy
- How the body works during labor
- Pain medication options
- When to go to the hospital
- Labor coping skills for laboring mothers and support techniques for birth partners
- Emotional support and stress-relief methods
- Screening for maternal anxiety and depression will also be offered and referrals can be made if needed
Labor and Birth Support
The Doula will go “on-call” 24-hours a day for the client from 36 weeks onward. When the client goes into labor, The Doula will meet the client at her home or the hospital. The Doula will provide:
- Emotional Support (encouragement, reassurance, compassion);
- Physical Comfort (i.e., position changes, massage, breathing, relaxation techniques, etc.);
- Informational Support (i.e., information on risks and benefits of medical procedures);
- Advocacy (helping client to speak with her medical providers about what she needs and wants during birth)
- Recognition and Referral (Doulas are trained to recognize complications and emergencies in pregnancy, labor, postpartum and in the newborn and will refer client to primary care provider if needed).
The Doula will provide three (3) one-to-two hour postpartum visits. Doulas will offer:
- Breastfeeding Support for Common Problems & Referrals if Necessary
- Instruct Parents on Newborn Care (Bathing, Swaddling, Diapering, Baby Wearing, etc.)
- Education on Newborn Appearance & Behavior
- Information on Newborn Medical Procedures and Screening Tests
- Instruction on Caring for Mother/Person and Self-Care After Childbirth
- Screening for Perinatal Depression and Referral if Needed
- Support for Father/Partners
OTHER SERVICES OFFERED
Father’s Discussion and Support Group
Fathers are invited to a monthly discussion and support group. Facilitated by an experienced father and educator, these sessions will provide fathers-to-be and new dads with answers to their concerns and questions. Learn more about the group.
Empowered Birth Choices Childbirth Preparation Classes
Pregnant women and persons and their birth partners are invited to attend Empowered Birth Choices, a 4-week series of Childbirth Preparation Classes. The classes meet for 3-1/2 hours each session once per week. Classes are free for Medi-Cal. We also offer private childbirth education classes customized to suit families’ budgets and schedules. Learn more about the classes.
Maternity and Infant Thrift Store
At our Happy Mama Healthy Baby Maternity and Infant Resale Store, parents can find maternity and nursing clothes, infant to 3 month. We have unique clothing, cloth diaper wraps, slings, etc. Located in our downtown office. Hours by appointment only. Donate or Buy today and support our Community Doula Program. Hours by appointment only.
Reading and Relaxation Room
We have a reading room with books on childbirth, pregnancy, breastfeeding and parenting. Stop by and enjoy a cup of tea and read a book or watch a birth video while you sit in our deluxe massage chair. Kids are welcome! We have a children’s play area. Hours by appointment only.
Classes and Workshops
At our downtown office located at Mercado La Paloma, we offer classes of all types to every pregnant person or family including yoga, infant massage, film nights and lectures, etc. Email us for the current schedule.
PAY FOR SERVICES
Pay By Check
Make checks payable to “AWMNH” . Send checks to:
Happy Mama Healthy Baby Alliance
3655 S. Grand Ave. Suite 260, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Pay by Card
As labor support services fees are sliding scale, please enter the amount agreed upon in the box below. Then click on the “BUY NOW” button. You will be taken to Paypal’s secure site, where you can pay using your Paypal account (if you do not have a Paypal account you can set one up in minutes), or you can pay using your debit or credit card.
|Labor Support Services|
Pay for Postpartum Support
Pay by Check
Make checks payable to “HMHBA” .Send checks to:
Happy Mama Healthy Baby Alliance
3655 S. Grand Ave. Suite 260, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Pay by Card
Please use the pull-down menu below to select your choice: then select “ADD TO CART” button. You will be taken to PayPal’s secure site, where you can pay using your PayPal account (if you do not have a PayPal account you can set one up in minutes).