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SDSU researchers to evaluate Brookings Health’s doula program

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 5th, 2013

SDSU nursing student Taylor Mertz helps expectant mom Katy VanderWal of rural Brookings use a birthing ball during labor.  Mertz, who completed her nursing degree in December, served as a volunteer doula at the New Beginnings Birth Center in Brookings. VanderWal gave birth to a baby girl, Callie, in December 2011. Courtesy photo

BROOKINGS – A program that provides free support for women during labor and after delivery has been successful for the New Beginnings Birth Center, but a new partnership between Brookings Health System and South Dakota State University researchers may make it even better.

When a mother-to-be arrives at the birth center, she is asked whether she would like a doula, a trained volunteer who will provide her nonmedical support during labor and delivery, explained Julia Yoder, director of marketing and public relations at Brookings Health System.

Thanks to the volunteer doula program, Brookings Health System’s hospital is the first in the state to offer the services of a doula for labor and delivery and the first one in the nation to offer postpartum support to expectant parents free of charge. 

For the complete article see the 02-05-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-05-2013 paper.

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