MILWAUKEE — Expectant mothers in Milwaukee’s 53206 ZIP code will soon have access to doulas to ensure healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett signed a file that will provide the doula programming on Tuesday, April 2.
Mayor Barrett was joined by City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, Alderman Khalif Rainey, Alderwoman Milele Coggs, and Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic, along with other faith and health partners to sign the file.
“Very, very innovative effort,” Mayor Barrett said. “Allowing doulas to be part of our effort to provide healthier babies and healthier mothers in the City of Milwaukee. A healthy city starts with healthy moms and babies.”
Community-based doulas provide culturally sensitive pregnancy and childbirth education, early linkage to health care and other services; labor coaching, breastfeeding promotion and counseling, and parenting education, while encouraging parental attachment. The peer-to-peer relationship and the continuity of care knit a fabric of support around the family, which has broad and deep impact on a variety of outcomes, especially for women of color.
“I want to be known for the ZIP code and the city that has the most support prenatal, labor support and postpartum and that we have the healthiest families in the nation. We can do it and this is the place it will be done,” said Dimitrijevic.
The City of Milwaukee Health Department, with financial support of Milwaukee County, is developing the doula project to embrace the concept of “mothering our Milwaukee mothers,” in the interest of increasing their healthy pregnancy and birth outcomes.