Community-Based Doula Pilot

5/24/17: The Community-Based Doula Pilot is on hold as we plan for strategic next steps. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you!

A huge THANK YOU to our partners and donors who have made this pilot possible: March of Dimes, Steelcase Foundation, Postpartum Progress, and Fountain Street Social Action Committee. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact or call 616-828-1021.

Community-based doulas have proven to improve infant health, strengthen families, and establish supports to ensure ongoing family success. Benefits include:

  • Improved prenatal care
  • Fewer pre-term births
  • Increased breastfeeding rates
  • Increased birth weight
  • Fewer medical interventions
  • Fewer c-section deliveries
  • More positive birth experiences
  • Increased mother-child interaction
  • Improved parenting skills

The disparities in health care between those who have access to resources and those who do not have a life-long impact on maternal and infant health. A community-based doula bridges the gap between professionals in the health and human services systems and families whose life experiences keep them at a distance from those resources and may be slow to trust. The program succeeds because the doulas are of and from the same community as their clients and are able to bridge language and cultural barriers in order to meet health needs.

Credit: The Community-Based Doula: Supporting Families Before, During, and After Childbirth by Rachel Abramson, Ginger K. Breedlove, and Beth Isaacs