The mothers and babies of Louisiana deserve and need more doulas. The state of Louisiana has some of the worst perinatal outcomes in the nation. Louisiana has the highest cesarean section rate in the country with nearly 4 out of every 10 women in the state give birth by major surgery1. Every year, in our state, approximately 600 babies die before reaching their first birthday2.
Premature birth is the second cause of infant death nationwide. Mississippi and Alabama are the only two states with premature birth and infant mortality rates higher than Louisiana. Together they are the only three states that received an F on the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Cards. Prematurity is the leading cause of infant death in the African American community and in Louisiana, African American babies are more than twice as likely to die as Asian, Latino, and Caucasian babies2.
A Doula is a trained birth companion who provides physical, emotional and informational support to a mother and her family during pregnancy, labor, and after birth. “Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily3” Additionally, the use of Doulas has been shown to decrease the numbers of unnecessary medical interventions, decrease the numbers of cesarean sections and decrease the rate of premature births. Now more than ever, every pregnant woman, including those in Louisiana, deserves and needs a Doula.
The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) is an infant mortality prevention, breastfeeding promotion, and doula/midwife training non-profit organization. ICTC sponsors the Full Circle Doula Training Program to empower women, increase positive birth outcomes, and reduce infant mortality in African American community. The Louisiana Friends of ICTC is seeking individuals who are interested in learning more about becoming a doula. From the ICTC website: The Full Circle Doula training is perfect for students interested in learning doula skills from multicultural, historical, and traditional perspectives. In its doula training, ICTC teaches the history of midwifery as a model of care, infant mortality prevention, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and labor, nutrition and herbs, labor comfort measures, breastfeeding technique and much more.
An ICTC Full Circle Doula Training will be held in New Orleans May 17 – 20, 2012. If you, or someone you know is interested in learning more about empowering women during pregnancy and birth and starting a new career as a doula we want to hear from you. You can learn more about the ICTC Full Circle Doula Training here or contact me for more information about the New Orleans training: nicole at sistamidwife dot com. Together we can make sure the women in Louisiana have an opportunity to truly Birth Something Beautiful™