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Title V Technical Assistance Meeting

 Community-Based Doula Program is Using Storybook Narratives as an Educational Tool and Call to Action

By Jeretha McKinley, Interim Executive Director, HealthConnect One®

As COVID-19 strains our health care infrastructure, pregnant women face severe isolation when family and community support is critical in birth outcomes. HealthConnect One worked with our network of birth workers to pull together the experiences of Black and Brown families who have been navigating birthing during COVID. The narratives we collected are available in English and Spanish storybooks.

The stories describe the extreme hardships that birthing communities experience during this pandemic. Birthing communities are facing food insecurity, housing insecurity, job losses, difficulties accessing formula, and diapers. They also have limited access to prenatal and postnatal care. HealthConnect One is using the storybooks as an advocacy tool to educate leaders about the severity of these problems and as a call to action for birth equity and resources for birthing families.

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HealthConnect One’s community-based doula program provides intensive support to families throughout pregnancy and during labor and birth, as well as in the early months of parenting – primarily in communities of color and low-income communities. The program and employs doulas who live in the communities that are served. Click here to learn more about this best practice in AMCHP’s Innovation Station.