Haven Doula Program
The Haven’s Doula Program pairs pregnant women from The Haven Mother’s House with successful Haven graduates who have given birth and are in recovery. The Haven’s Doula Program was the first program to utilize the Chicago Health Connection (now Health Connect One) Community Doula training model in a community of recovering women. Doulas also undergo training in The Harris Doula Child Development Curriculum (ages 0-3). A doula’s relationship with the mother begins as soon as the trained doula is matched with the mother and continues up until the child is 6 months of age. The doula begins regular contact with the woman as soon as she is admitted to the Mother’s House; accompanying her to prenatal care visits and helping her develop a birth plan. Doulas also provide a series of sessions focused on education about labor and delivery. The goals for the doula are to develop a trusting relationship with the mother, to help her to advocate for herself in the health care system, to prepare for the hospital labor and delivery experience, and ultimately to prepare for her new role as a parent. When labor begins, the doula is available to the mother, supporting her through labor, delivery and the initial postpartum hours at the hospital. In the immediate postpartum period, the doula reviews the events of labor and delivery, reassures the new mother about her child’s condition, provides breastfeeding support, and facilitates bonding and infant care. During the later postpartum months, the doula continues to visit the mother on a regular basis. She helps provide support and ideas for appropriate developmental play, assists with transportation to medical appointments, links the client to outside resources, and provides recovery support.
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