From the Field: Community Doula Initiative

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Project Title

Community Doula Initiative

Name of Organization, Agency, or Institution

Hudson Perinatal Consortium

Primary Contact Name and Title

Jill Wodnick, Community Doula Coordinator

Project Aim and Goals

HPC Community Doulas is a non profit 501(c) 3 maternal-infant agency dedicated to serve low income pregnant women receiving prenatal care at federally qualified health centers in Hudson County, NJ. Our grant is committed to reducing perinatal disparities in birth outcomes, so we offer free community doulas to pregnant women on Medicaid and/or enrolled in the WIC program.

A community doula serves as a birth coach, mentor, advocate and supporter to the expectant/birthing and new mother. The doula spends time working with an expectant mother about stress reduction practices, healthy foods, childbirth education, breastfeeding, community resources and parenting skills before she goes into labor through home visits and accompanying the client on prenatal care medical appointments. After the birth, the community doula does more home visits where she assists with breastfeeding retention, shares resources for postpartum depression screening, and models mothering skills. Community doulas make a direct link in promoting better birth outcomes with an emphasis on compliance of pre and postnatal care, reducing preterm labor, reducing low birthweight, reducing c-sections, increasing breastfeeding rates, and increasing parenting skills for the families they serve.

Blueprint Area(s) Addressed

Strategies Used


We are just starting to analyze the data and see an immediate impact on breastfeeding initiation and retention levels, especially for our teenage moms and women of color. We are seeking an intern to assist with data collection!

Articles About the Project

Hudson Non-profit Runs Pilot Support Program for Pregnant Women (Jersey Journal, 09/27/10)


For More Information

Jill Wodnick, at

Filed in Care coordination, Community education/outreach, Decision making and choice, Disparities, Educational materials for health professionals, Health professions education, New care delivery model, Performance measurement, Shared decision making, Skills training or drills for health professionals, Stories from the Field, Team building, Workforce on Thu., Jul 14, 2011

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