The maternal mortality rate in the United States is the highest among developed nations. The maternal mortality rate in Indiana is twice the national average. The infant mortality rate is also exceptionally high, with some of the highest rates of infant mortality in the state of Indiana being in my own zip code, 46806. While there are many systemic problems that must be addressed, doula care is one way to positively impact birth outcomes. Doula care is seen by many as a luxury, but this should not be the case. Cost should not be a hindrance for people to receive the care they need, especially regarding an experience as powerful and beautiful as birth.
All birthing people deserve continuous support, and as a doula, it is my goal to make support available to the people that need it the most. My plan is to offer a sliding scale, based on income and risk factors, so that my services are affordable to the people in my community, as well as anyone in my area who otherwise could not afford a doula. If you or someone you love is considering hiring a doula but unsure how they can afford it, please send me an email at email@example.com and we can chat.
Additionally, I am offering my prenatal and postnatal appointments independent of the complete birth package. This may be a helpful option for those that plan to give birth in a setting that does not allow doulas due to COVID, as well as another way for low income clients to gain information and assistance with their birth if they are unable to commit to having the physical presence of a doula. These appointments, like all of my services, will be individually tailored to the unique needs of each client.
My community desperately needs support during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Only when all families receive adequate support will we be able to ensure the best outcomes for maternal and infant health.
Infant mortality rate in Fort Wayne https://www.wowo.com/fort-wayne-infant-mortality-among-highest-indiana/#:~:text=In%20the%2046806%20zip%20code,is%2010th%20in%20the%20state.
Maternal Mortality in Indiana https://www.sideeffectspublicmedia.org/post/why-new-mothers-indiana-are-dying-one-nation-s-highest-rates
“Continuous support during labor may improve outcomes for women and infants, including increased spontaneous vaginal birth, shorter duration of labor, and decreased caesarean birth, instrumental vaginal birth, use of any analgesia, use of regional analgesia, low five-minute Apgar score, and negative feelings about childbirth experiences.”
The Charted Impact of Doulas on Birth Outcomes https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/birth-doulas-benefits#The-charted-impact-of-doulas-in-the-delivery-room
“Birth outcomes of two groups of socially disadvantaged mothers at risk for adverse birth outcomes, one receiving prebirth assistance from a certified doula and the other representing a sample of birthing mothers who elected to not work with a doula, were compared. All of the mothers were participants in a prenatal health and childbirth education program. Expectant mothers matched with a doula had better birth outcomes. Doula-assisted mothers were four times less likely to have a low birth weight (LBW) baby, two times less likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their baby, and significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding. Communication with and encouragement from a doula throughout the pregnancy may have increased the mother’s self-efficacy regarding her ability to impact her own pregnancy outcomes.”
Journal of Perinatal Education study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3647727/