Labor of Love | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Labor of Love 

Published December 4, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

click to enlarge kidsbeat1-1-c85e9a212b254f70.jpg

Research shows that women who have continuous support during labor have better birth outcomes. Sometimes a family member is able to provide this support, but other times women turn to a doula — a birth companion or coach who provides emotional and physical support before, during and after labor. Hiring a private doula can be expensive, with an average cost of $750 to $1,500 according to the journal Health Affairs. A new volunteer doula program at the University of Vermont Medical Center aims to eliminate that financial barrier. In November, 30 women attended the first volunteer doula training session — two full days during which they learned hands-on labor skills, confidentiality guidelines, and what to expect behaviorally and emotionally from laboring women. The instruction, led by a Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association trainer, also taught volunteers how to support women with psychosocial and emotional issues, such as trauma. Volunteer doulas must commit to two 12-hour shifts on the labor and delivery floor per month, with the first volunteers starting in January. They will support women during birth but will not provide prenatal or postpartum support like most private-practice doulas. The program is modeled on similar programs at hospitals around the country and is supported by a grant from the UVM Medical Center Auxiliary, a volunteer organization. The hospital plans to offer two trainings per year, said program founder Marti Churchill, who is the lead midwife at the medical center. The first cohort of volunteers includes nursing students, women's studies majors and local mothers. "There are a lot of women who love birth and want to be able to help women in labor" but might not be able to make a substantial commitment of time, said Churchill. This program gives them the opportunity to give back, while also providing a new resource for patients.

For more information about University of Vermont Medical Center's Volunteer Doula Program, contact Marti Churchill at martha.churchill@uvmhealth.org.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Alison Novak

Alison Novak

Bio:
Alison is the former managing editor at Kids VT, Seven Days' parenting publication and writes about education for Seven Days.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation