Meet Our Doulas
EveryStep helps people feel empowered when it comes to healthcare. We provide education and support to promote a healthy pregnancy, and we help people receive the post-pregnancy care and parenting support they need.
One way we do that is through our doula services, which are offered at no cost to anyone who qualifies.
Get Started with a Doula
What is a Doula?
A doula is a trained professional who provides continuous emotional, physical and informational support to new and expectant parents before, during and after birth. A doula is a professional pregnancy companion whose goal is to help families have a safe, healthy and positive labor experience.
A Multi-Cultural Approach
EveryStep honors every client's individuality, including their gender identification, culture and personal beliefs. Many of our doulas speak multiple languages, and EveryStep's on-staff interpreters are available to ensure every client is heard, understood and supported.
EveryStep also offers specialized doula services to empower pregnant individuals who identify as Black or African American. Black women in Iowa are 6 times more likely to die from childbirth or childbirth complications than white women. Black women are also at greater risk of bleeding, cardiac complications, kidney problems, infections and other medical issues. Our doulas help clients on their path through healthy pregnancy, delivery and post-pregnancy experiences.
Doulas Make a Difference
Did you know that the rates of maternal death are on the rise in the U.S.? Pregnancy-related deaths can occur up to a year from the end of pregnancy. Factors* that contribute to maternal mortality include:
- Social and structural barriers to good health, including access to respectful, high-quality healthcare.
- Challenges with accessing primary care, health insurance, and family planning services.
- Lack of access to specialty care for high-risk pregnancies and appropriate transition from pregnancy care to primary/preventative care.
- Rising C-section rates, which increase likelihood of bleeding and surgical complications in future pregnancies and deliveries.
- An increase of conditions that make pregnancy high-risk, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and substance use disorders.
* Source: Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
According to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, 3 out of 5 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. EveryStep’s doulas can help clients avoid risk factors so they can experience healthier pregnancies, births and postpartum experiences.
A Doula’s Role
Unlike an OB/GYN or midwife, a doula does not have formal medical training; however, they are often certified in their practice and are knowledgeable about pregnancy and medical procedures. A doula uses that knowledge to educate and empower people throughout the perinatal period.
A doula’s most important role is to provide support during labor and delivery. Studies have shown that support from doulas during childbirth might be associated with:
EveryStep’s Doulas Will:
• Provide education on pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
• Offer a soothing voice of experience.
• Educate families about the birth experience, including help with relaxation techniques and breathing exercises and advice on labor positions.
• Help families navigate resources and offer referrals to services and community agencies.
• Provide information about infant feeding.
• Educate the birth person about caring for their own health.
Black Doulas: Empowering Black Parents
Ask about our specialized doula services for pregnant clients who identify as Black or African American. We may be able to match you with a doula who also identifies as Black or African American and can help you develop a birth plan, support you through labor and delivery, offer breast-feeding support, help you navigate the health care system, and empower you in your discussions with your health care providers.
3 Prenatal Visits
You will have at least 3 visits* before the birth of your baby. In addition to support and education, you and your doula will create a birth preference sheet that outlines what you want during labor, delivery, and immediate postpartum.
Support During Labor, Delivery and Immediately After Delivery
A doula is on call 10 days before and 10 days after the expected due date. The doula will attend to and support the birthing person during their labor, delivery, and immediate postpartum.
A doula is able to support families through elective and emergency inductions, vaginal birth, and elective and emergency C-sections. After delivery, the doula stays with the family to assist with postpartum care and the start of infant feedings, whether chest/breastfeeding, formula, pumping, or combination feedings (for example, a combination of chest/breastfeeding, pumping, and/or formula).
*Doulas are considered a part of the client’s medical team. They are not part of the two additional visitors that you can have at your delivery.
3 Postpartum Visits After Delivery
A doula will meet with the family at least 3 times after the birth of the baby. (More visits may happen depending on the family’s needs.) The doula will offer physical support such as a healing plan for the client, parenting support, infant care, infant feeding support, education, resources and referrals.
Ready to learn more, or to see if you qualify for EveryStep’s free doula services?
Please Complete This Form
Or call our Intake team at 515-558-9946. Please leave a detailed voicemail for our staff if you reach our answering service, and we will return your call as soon as possible.
|EveryStep's Doula services are made possible by: