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Why It’s Newsworthy: Doulas are advocates in the delivery room, and for women of color, their advocacy is working to combat high Black maternal mortality rates across the nation.
Black doulas in Georgia are fighting the second-highest maternal mortality rates in the country by bringing compassion and support back to birthwork, and encouraging traditional methods of birthing and healing to treat women of color more holistically.
By definition, a doula is a non-medical, trained professional who provides information as well as emotional and physical support for birthing parents during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. But, it’s not uncommon for birth doulas to also have medical training. A doula works with birthing parents to create a plan and promote emotional and physical wellness. They also add a layer of informed communication between patients and doctors.
While doctors and nurses are in control of monitoring the medical and technical aspects of birth by making sure the birthing parent and baby remain physically healthy throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery, doulas are focused on supporting and informing clients.
Caitlin Phillips is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
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