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Metropolitan College program aims to boost birth advocates
Doula program Feb. 9-10 at JCSU
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2019 10:10 pm
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

A birth doula certification program launches Feb. 9-10 at Johnson C. Smith University's Metropolitan College.

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A Johnson C. Smith University initiative aims to help black mothers deliver healthy babies.

The Feb. 9-10 doula program hosted by the Metropolitan College of Professional Studies teaches advocacy of physical and emotional support for mothers and their families during and following birth. Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

JCSU is launching the training program, which will result in birth doula – a Spanish title or honor for a woman of rank – certification. The 16-hour course is  $525 for the general public and $400 for students, which includes registration, training manual, supplies and refreshments. The goal is to address a shortage of black women childbirth professionals to advocate for mothers with cultural competence.

“We’ve recently seen the crisis in rising maternal health deaths and the need exists for birth assistance for those who are high-risk from someone who looks like them,” said doula initiative leader Dr. Antonia Mead, chair of JCSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance. “We want to help close that gap in both employment and service providers.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine favor continuous labor support, a role professional doulas fill. Research shows that women who use birth doulas are less likely to suffer adverse health effects.

Tonya Daniels, a DONA International-approved trainer, will facilitate the class. Chicago-based DONA is the world’s largest doula certifying organization.

The course consists of training in anatomy and physiology of pregnancy; fetal development, labor, postpartum, and breastfeeding. The initiative also covers the emotional aspects of pregnancy and its significance in a woman’s life; labor variations such as cesarean birth; pain management and comfort techniques; medical procedures and interventions in labor; communication and listening skills, including values clarification and cultural sensitivity.


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