HBP is excited to announce its new Peer-to-Peer Teen Doula Program, an innovative model that trains young women to provide prenatal, childbirth, and postpartum support for clients.
The HBP Doula Program is unique from all other home visiting models in that doulas are from the communities being served (Ward 7 and Ward Eight) and serve women and families in those same wards that specifically face high risks of negative birth and developmental outcomes.
The program represents a new approach to perinatal support: one that makes use of the power of relationships and the power of birth. Trained doulas combine culturally-appropriate peer-to-peer support with the life course approach that focuses on the perinatal year and the early months of parenting. During this sensitive period of transition, families have unique openness to change, learning and growth. HBP doulas provide in-home visits, breastfeeding information, lactation education, childbirth education, community resources, sisterhood, and assistance creating a support system. (Read how one HBP doula supported a young mother during childbirth and delivery.)
Our vision is to achieve high breastfeeding rates and low Caesarean rates for our expecting and lactating teen mothers through peer-to-peer support. In addition, we anticipate that our trained doulas will work with mothers, infants, and families to improve maternal and infant outcomes, including:
- reduced numbers of premature births (earlier than 39 weeks);
- reduced low birth weight (LBW) and very low birth weight (VBLW) babies (higher than 5.5 lbs);
- decreased primary Cesarean sections (15% or less);
- increased vaginal birth after Cesarean (15% or higher);
- reduced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following childbirth;
- reduced postpartum depression;
- enhanced maternal-infant attachment;
- increased initiation and duration of exclusive breastfeeding (6 months minimum);
- improved high school graduation rates;
- reduced repeat pregnancies during adolescence;
- increased opportunities and mentorship for teens interested in careers in maternal and infant health
We extend our deepest thanks to DONA International workshop facilitator Katie Daily for partnering with HBP to launch this program and train our first HBP peer-to-peer doulas at no cost.
You are invited to financially support this program to help us train more teen and young adult doulas. For additional information about partnering with HBP or for information about connecting a young mother or mother-to-be with an HBP doula, please contact the TPEP Program Coordinator, Kahlil Kuykendall at 202.396.2809 or by email.