The Doula Project is a partnership program between Black Hawk County Public Health, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, Allen Women's Health Center, and the Iowa Black Doula Collective. The goal of the project is to support the health and well-being of African American/Black-identifying mothers, children, and families by connecting pregnant persons to high-quality and equitable health services.
The Project recognizes disparities in maternal health outcomes among African American and Black-identifying individuals in Iowa and seeks to reduce these inequalities by developing community-based doula services for pregnant people, that supports effective interactions between the expectant mother and their OBGYN within this demographic.
A doula is a trained, non-medical professional that will provide continuous emotional and physical support to the mother before, during, and after childbirth. The doula will live in the same area as the pregnant person and will facilitate the best possible birth experience for the mother and child.
The CDC Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant and Mid-Iowa Health Foundation are providing funding support for the Doula Project model run--which launched in 2021--in Black Hawk, Dubuque, Polk, and Scott counties.