Another sample of real Health Reform! Thank you, Illinois Senator Durbin!! He worked hard, with others, I’m sure, to get federal monies for community doulas.

“Research shows women who use doulas have a significantly lower risk of cesarean, use of medication and other interventions, which helps to reduce rates of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. (The Doula Book, MH Klaus, JH Kennel, PH Klaus, 2002) During the postpartum period, doulas offer education, support and assistance with newborn care and family adjustment.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) inserted the funding for community doula programs into healthcare reform legislation citing the success of the Health Connect program in Chicago, a program that provides doulas to low-income families and teen clients at no cost.

“In Chicago, we have seen how the community-doula model can improve the odds for those young moms and their babies. The Chicago Health Connection [now HealthConnect One] pioneered this model. The group trained mentors from the community to work with at-risk moms, many of whom had few ideas of where else to turn.” says Senator Durbin.

Chicago’s channel 7 news interviews Laura McAlpine of Health Connect One See Channel 7’s Doulas Become A Household Name. A legislative mini-history of Illinois support for Community Doula Programs and a good description of doulas, the difference between doulas and midwives, and what a community doula is (in today’s terms). Exciting development!
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