Milwaukee Health Department celebrates World Doula Week, focuses on improving birth experiences

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As World Doula Week is celebrated from March 22 - 28, the Milwaukee Health Department’s "Birth Outcomes Made Better" Doula program is recognizing the importance of doulas in empowering and educating pregnant families on the physiological, emotional and psychological support they provide during the perinatal journey.

Doulas are non-medically trained professionals who work with pregnant families before, during and after birth. Their primary goal is to ensure that the birthing person has a positive birth experience. They provide educational, emotional, physical and spiritual support to clients and their partners, and work collaboratively with the birthing person to create a birth plan, discuss patient rights and provide comfort measures during labor.

While there are similarities between doulas and midwives, there are important differences. Midwives are trained to perform medical tasks like testing, cervical exams, and delivering babies, while doulas are solely focused on the birthing person’s emotional and physical well-being without doing any hands-on medical tasks.

Milwaukee's program was created in 2019 to support healthy pregnancies and nurture healthy babies in the local area. Despite challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has continued to grow and has reportedly served 171 Milwaukee families since its inception.

Services through the program are available to any city of Milwaukee resident who is at or before 30 weeks pregnant. Clients who participate will have a doula through birth and 12 weeks postpartum.

The doula services through the Milwaukee Health Department are available at no cost to the families and don’t require health insurance coverage.

Any city of Milwaukee resident interested in learning more about the BOMB Doula program can visit the Milwaukee Health Department website and fill out a referral form or call the program directly at (414) 286-8620.

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