U.S Department of Health & Human Services
Health Resources & Services Administration

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HRSA Awards $6.3 Million to Launch New Parents Initiative, ‘Doulas’ Training

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 3, 2008
CONTACT: HRSA PRESS OFFICE
301-443-3376

HRSA Administrator Elizabeth M. Duke has announced grants of almost $6.3 million in grants to benefit mothers, new parents and their infants.

Almost $4.9 million of the grants will be awarded to states to develop public awareness campaigns to aid first-time parents. The remaining grants, worth more than $1.4 million, will support the activities of ‘doulas’ to mentor pregnant women during pregnancy, birth and for at least the first 12 weeks after delivery. Both sets of grants are funded by HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau .

  • The First-Time Motherhood/New Parent Initiative funds efforts by 13 states to develop and disseminate marketing tools that promote greater health knowledge and stronger parenting skills among men and women of childbearing age and emphasize a holistic approach to the health of the mother, baby and their family beginning prior to conception and following delivery.

“New parents can benefit from opportunities to learn from peers and professionals," said HRSA Administrator Elizabeth M. Duke. "These grants will help first-time mothers and new parents gain access to helpful resources on prenatal care, family support and parenting."

Services promoted through the grants will augment awareness campaigns already implemented by states to promote services for expectant mothers and new parents and encourage a healthy first year of life for their infants.  The target population will be women and men from racial and ethnic minorities who live in communities disproportionately affected by pregnancies with health problems. 

Grantees will use the campaigns to heighten awareness of the importance of preparing couples for their new roles as parents and increase their access to available resources, including parenting education programs. Funds also will promote greater knowledge of pregnancy risk factors, ways to reduce risky behaviors, and strategies to reduce health problems during pregnancies and improve reproductive health.

  • The Community-Based Doulas Program grants were awarded to seven community organizations to identify and train local community workers to mentor pregnant women.

Doulas provide culturally sensitive pregnancy, breastfeeding and childbirth education and counseling. They also promote links to health care and social services, labor coaching and parenting skills.

"The birth of a baby has a long-lasting impact on the physical and mental health of mother, baby and family,” said HRSA Administrator Elizabeth M. Duke. “These funds supporting doulas will provide emotional reassurance and comfort to the mother and her family throughout pregnancy and beyond."

The word 'Doula' comes from the ancient Greek and refers to a trained and experienced woman who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to women before, during and immediately following childbirth. Successful doulas share certain qualities: a commitment to help women have healthy and satisfying births, a capacity to form trusting relationships, and an ability to listen and respond to a mother’s needs.

The lists of grant recipients follow below:

FY 2008 First-Time Motherhood/New Parent Initiative Grants

Organization

City

State

Amount

Arizona Department of Health Services

Phoenix

Ariz.

$497,213

California Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program

Sacramento

Calif.

$500,000

Connecticut Department of Public Health

Hartford

Conn.

$500,000

Florida Department of Health

Tallahassee

Fla.

$223,363

Maine Department of Health and Human Services

Augusta

Maine

$36,799

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Boston

Mass.

$335,000

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Lincoln

Neb.

$500,000

Nevada Health Division

Carson City

Nev.

$500,000

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Raleigh

N.C.

$500,000

Oregon Department of Human Services, Public Health Division

Portland

Ore.

$250,000

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Harrisburg

Pa.

$250,000

Utah Department of Health

Salt Lake City

Utah

$500,000

Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services

Madison

Wis.

$247,427

Total:

$4,839,802


FY 2008 Community-Based Doula Program Grants

Organization

City

State

Amount

Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention

Atlanta

Ga.

$181,982

Access Community Health Network

Chicago

Ill.

$200,000

Chicago Health Connection

Chicago

Ill.

$279,532

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Onamia

Minn.

$167,717

Queen of Peace Center

Saint Louis

Mo.

$200,000

Tewa Women United

Espanola

N.M.

$197,247

Migrant Health Promotion

Weslaco

Texas

$199,416

Total:

$1,425,894

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The Health Resources and Services Administration ( HRSA), part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. Under a 70-year-old congressional mandate, HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau works to safeguard the health of the nation's women, children and families. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.