Doula Program

What is a Birth Doula?

A doula is a non-medical professional trained to support mothers and families with physical, emotional, and evidence-based information before, during, and after birth. The doula helps to ensure that a mother, baby, and family achieve the healthiest, most rewarding birth experience possible.

Doula care is effective because it is built on a strong relationship with the mother that starts in pregnancy. During visits that start prenatally, the Doula shares evidence-based knowledge, assists with the development of birth preferences, and learns about the mother’s life experiences and family to provide the best support possible. When it is time for the mother to give birth, the “Doulas use techniques such as imagery, massage, acupressure, and patterned breathing to reduce a woman’s pain. They suggest position changes to accelerate labor or aid in fetal positioning. They also provide guidance and encouragement to minimize fear and anxiety, and encourage touch and communication between the laboring woman and her partner.” (Papagni, 2006 p13).

Doula Values:

  • Doula care should empower the client and family to play an active role in their prenatal care, birth and postpartum care. We believe that this empowerment can change the trajectory of a family
  • All families deserve access to Doula care
  • All families look different
  • Doula care should empower support persons to play an active role
  • All clients have what they need to be great parents

 

What they Do What they Don’t Do
What they Do What they Don’t Do
Provide childbirth education.

Physical and emotional support.

Inform of birthing options.

Empowers client decision making.

Offer support during Labor and Delivery

Connect to local community resources.

Provide postpartum support

Connect to lactation support

Does not provide medical treatment.

Does not perform medical procedures, tasks, or checks.

Does not make decisions for you or your family.

Does not speak on your behalf.

Does not push their agenda.

Does not promise specific birth experience or outcome.

 

Doula Program Overview:

  • Doula will provide 3 appointments with the client during the prenatal period
  • Doula will be with the client for the entirety of the labor and delivery
  • Doula will provide 3 appointments with the client in the postpartum period.
  • Edinburgh Assessments are completed during prenatal and postpartum periods.

Program Eligibility:

We are currently only accepting referrals for clients that are enrolled in a home visiting program and supporting programs, including:

    • Healthy Start
    • John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Healthy Start
    • Healthy Families
    • Nurse Family Partnership
    • Parents as Teachers +
    • 1st 1,000 Days Pinellas

Can I self refer?

Not at this time. We are hoping to expand our doula services to self referral in Fall 2024.  Please consult our Resource Manual (page 10) for a list of certified doulas that serve Pinellas County.

Referral Process:

Please send the Referral From via secure email or fax. We prioritize providing clients with doula services, with an additional goal of aligning a culturally appropriate match. If ensuring a culturally aligned match is crucial for your client, please include this information in the notes section.

To expedite the referral process, particularly for clients facing technology or language barriers, include the Healthy Start Coalition Release of Information (ROI) and JWB Consent Form. While not mandatory for a referral, inclusion of the signed ROI and consent form can be helpful in expediting the referral process. Do not let a lack of signed forms deter you from referring your client to the Doula Program.

If you are unable to fill out the referral form, we are also happy to take a referral over the phone. Please contact us at 727-249-8589 for further assistance.

We appreciate you, our community partners, for continuing to refer to the Doula Program. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us.

For more information about the Doula Program, please call 727-249-8589 or email DoulaProgram@HealthyStartPinellas.org.

Doula Referral Forms

CALL 727-249-8589

ONLY submit your Doula Referral Forms via HIPAA compliant secure email or fax.

Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas, Inc. has been assigned Registration number CH8865 by the Florida Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

The mission of the Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas, Inc. is to promote healthy pregnancies, babies, and families by providing services and facilitating access to resources through community partnerships while advancing racial equity and cultural responsiveness.
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4000 Gateway Centre Boulevard, Suite 200
Pinellas Park, FL 33782 | 727-507-6330
info@healthystartpinellas.org