DANBURY, Conn. – Danbury Hospital’s Family Birth Center Doula Program is celebrating its 20th anniversary, making it one of the oldest hospital-based doula programs in the United States.
Doulas are certified labor assistants who undergo specific training to provide emotional and physical support to expectant mothers and their partners throughout the child birth experience.
Founded in 1996, Danbury Hospital started its doula program based on leadership recommendation from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Doulas are trained by Doulas of North America, the largest doula organization in the world.
“Danbury Hospital doulas are part of the family birth center team who offer invaluable personalized care to our patients and their families,” said Maryalice Cullen, director of patient care services at Danbury Hospital. “Since the doula program began, they have assisted thousands of women and their families during one of the most significant and memorable times in a women’s life -- giving birth to their baby.”
According to Kathleen Moonan, lactation and doula coordinator at Danbury Hospital, mothers who have gone through the entire labor process with a doula experience greater satisfaction during and after labor because of the continuous, uninterrupted support they receive.
Studies have indicated continuous support from doulas during childbirth is associated with decreased use of pain medicine during labor, incidence of C-sections, duration of labor and anxiety levels.
Doulas are available to all patients who deliver at the hospital for a $250 fee that is not usually covered by health insurance plans. To learn more about Danbury Hospital’s Family Birth Center's doula program, visit danburyhospital.org.