120123_Become a Doula, Improve Birth Outcomes

Public Health News

Become a Doula!

Doulas are trained, non-clinical professionals who provide physical, emotional, and informational support throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and after baby arrives. Having a trained and trusted doula who can help the parent-to-be make healthy decisions and choose proper prenatal care can make a difference in maternal health and birth outcomes.

Improving birth outcomes is important! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50,000 women in the United States experience a pregnancy complication annually, but Black women are three times more likely to die when compared to White women.

Black Hawk County Public Health (BHCPH) is partnering with Allen Women’s Health Center and Iowa Department of Health & Human Services to recruit community-based doulas through The Doula Project. The doulas provide cultural and linguistic support for Black-identifying pregnant people, and facilitate the best possible birth experience for the parent and child.

Program applicants also need to identify as Black, be a part of the community they serve, and have a passion for birth work & supporting pregnant people in labor.

Interested applicants are screened to make sure they understand the role of the doula, have reliable transportation, and have jobs flexible enough to allow them to leave to attend a birth. Through The Doula Project, doulas receive free training and certification. Approved trainings require 16-20 hours of live, in-person instruction, and cover a variety of essential topics including scope of practice, code of ethics, labor stages, comfort measures, newborn care, postpartum support, and community resources. Following certification, the doulas will receive assistance with setting up their services so they can begin their business.

To learn more about the process of becoming a doula, please contact BHCPH at (319) 291-2413 or visit our website: