Providing employment pathways for culturally diverse women and improving health service access and outcomes for people experiencing disadvantage during pregnancy, birth and early parenting.
Evidence shows that respectful, support from a trusted caregiver throughout pregnancy results in more positive birth experiences and a lifetime of better maternal and child health outcomes. Unfortunately, people with the greatest need for continuous care– those experiencing financial hardship, family violence or homelessness and new migrants, refugees and asylum seekers – have the least access to it. Birth for Humankind’s Doula Support Program is bridging this gap, but our current skilled volunteer program model is approaching capacity.
This 2-year project pilots and evaluates a community-based doula model that will increase access to free pregnancy and birth and parenting support for the most vulnerable Victorian women and babies. The project tests and refines an employment pathway for women of bicultural backgrounds trained as doulas, who may face barriers in accessing skilled and flexible paid work. Birth for Humankind will employ two 4 person team working in a group practice model to provide birth and/or postnatal support to an additional 150 clients in our doula support program. The team-based approach and enhanced doula availability will increase Birth for Humankind’s capacity to provide more than 400 services each year a 40% capacity increase on our current service by pilot end.