From the Field: Access to doula care through a community based program

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PROJECT TITLE

Perinatal Support Program

NAME OF ORGANIZATION, AGENCY, OR INSTITUTION

Delta Area Health Education Center/Crittenden Regional Hospital (West Memphis, Arkansas)

PRIMARY CONTACT NAME AND TITLE

Angie Whatley, RN, Women’s Health Project Coordinator

PROJECT AIM AND GOALS

Grant funds were acquired to implement a doula program for Crittenden Regional Hospital, a rural hospital in Arkansas. Trainings were established to train lay women to work in the program. Trainings were also provided for healthcare professionals to introduce gentle birth practices, and the role of a doula, and doulas working as part of the health care team.

Tools used to measure outcomes: hospital score cards track low birth weight, neonatal transfers, cesarean births, and cost.

Our program is also beginning CenteringPregnancy – Group care, as the first site in Arkansas.

BLUEPRINT AREA(S) ADDRESSED

STRATEGIES USED

RESULTS

  • Decline in induction rates
  • Decline in Cesarean Birth
  • Decline in pain medications/epidurals for management
  • Shorter labors with doula care
  • Clients with doulas stay home longer and in more active labor with hospital admission
  • Breastfeeding rates have increased two-fold.
  • Policy changes to promote more breastfeeding
  • Policy changes to allow clients to ambulate more and have more decision making choices with birth preferences

FOR MORE INFORMATION

arwhatley@uams.edu

Filed in Blueprint, Care coordination, Clinical practice guideline/policy change, Decision making and choice, Disparities, Educational materials for health professionals, Health professions education, New care delivery model, Performance measurement, Performance measurement/reporting, Scope of covered services, Skills training or drills for health professionals, Stories from the Field, Strategies, Team building on Tue., Apr 5, 2011

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