The Doula Partnership - Offering Free Birth Doula Services to Madison & Oneida County Residents

The Doula Partnership is a collaborative effort of Cayuga Community Health Network (Cayuga County), Seven Valleys Health Coalition (Cortland County), Herkimer County Public Health, and the Madison County Rural Health Council to promote and provide doula services for community members who qualify as low-income and may have challenges accessing prenatal, birth, and postnatal support.

What is a doula?

A doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.

Meet Our Doulas!

Differences between a birth doula and a midwife

Doula

Both Doula & Midwife

Midwife

Why work with a doula?

Benefits of working with a doula

A doula will provide resources and information to support pregnant individuals in understanding their options to make the best decisions about their birth plans. Evidence from the 2017 Report from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization shows that birth outcomes – for both the birthing person and the baby – are often improved with the presence of a doula.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to DONA International, a birth doula is “a trained professional who provides
continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and
shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.”

A doula will provide resources and information to support the pregnant individual in
understanding their options to make the best decisions about their birth plan. *Evidence shows
that birth outcomes – for both the birthing person and the baby – are often improved with the
presence of a doula. Having support from a doula has been reported to:

  • Shorten labor by 41 minutes on average
  • Increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth by 15%
  • Decrease in the risk of Cesarean birth by 39%
  • Decrease the use of any medications for pain relief by 10%
  • Decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five-minute Apgar score by 38%
  • Decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience (in a hospital setting) by
    31%


*2017 Report from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health
Organization

Both a doula and midwife are trained to provide support to the pregnant individual prenatally,
during the birth, and postnatally. A doula is a certified, non-medical birth coach who does not
provide medical care, give medical advice, or make medical decisions for the pregnant person.
The doula is present to provide continuous support and encouragement — both physically and
emotionally — including teaching techniques for pain management in advance, offering
suggestions for more comfortable positions during labor, and providing guidance, support,
and soothing massage during labor. The midwife is a trained medical professional who will
provide medical care such as monitoring vital signs, performing vaginal exams and delivering
the child.

A birth doula is involved to support the pregnant individual at home (prenatally and
postnatally) and during labor. They do not offer medical advice or interfere with the care from
the provider. During labor and delivery, their focus is wholly on the emotional needs and
physical comfort of the pregnant individual and their role does not conflict with the roles of the
nursing or medical staff at the hospital.

Our trained Birth Doulas will offer three prenatal visits, advocacy and support at the hospital
during labor and delivery, and three postpartum visits.

There is no out-of-pocket cost for low-income pregnant individuals to work with a birth doula
through the Doula Partnership of Cayuga, Cortland, and Madison.

Doula services through the Doula Partnership of Cayuga, Cortland, and Madison are available
to low-income pregnant residents living in one of those counties. Cayuga has an ongoing
program with current openings for pregnant individuals. Cortland and Madison will be
enrolling pregnant individuals for the 2023 term. Please contact us to get connected with a
program representative to enroll a patient or client or to have them enroll themselves
directly.

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Donating to the Madison County Rural Health Council helps us build and sustain our programs and initiatives, which in turn, contribute to the health of the community.

We are a 501(c)3 organization, which means your contribution is tax-deductible!

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