Supporting the health and well-being of all mothers, children, and families is the goal of Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Service Block Grant. Access to high-quality and equitable health services is one way to support MCH’s goal.
Iowa HHS recognizes disparities in maternal health outcomes among African American and Black-identifying individuals in Iowa and we also seek to reduce these inequalities by expanding and modifying Iowa’s MCH Service Delivery System (the Delivery System). An identified enhancement to the Delivery System includes developing a community-based service for pregnant people that provides effective interactions between the expectant mother and their OBGYN within this demographic.
To answer the need identified for the Delivery System, Iowa’s Title V Doula Project (Doula Project) was created. A doula is a trained, non-medical professional that will provide continuous emotional and physical support to the mother before, during, and after childbirth. The doula will live in the same area as the pregnant person and will facilitate the best possible birth experience for the mother and child.
The CDC Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant and Mid-Iowa Health Foundation are providing funding support for the Doula Project model run - launching in the fall of 2021 - in Black Hawk, Dubuque, Polk, and Scott counties.