HealthConnect One's® Community-Based Doula Program

Last updated: 2015

In brief

Evidence of model effectiveness

This model does not meet the criteria established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for an "evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model" for the general population or for tribal populations.

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Model description

HealthConnect One (HC One) provides training, technical assistance, accreditation, and evaluation services to sites implementing the Community-Based Doula Program. The model was first implemented in 1996 as a four-year pilot in Chicago, under the name the Chicago Doula Project, and is now being replicated nationwide. HC One assists replication sites in adapting the essential components of the model to their existing program structure. Replication sites may refer to their programs using local names. The Community-Based Doula Program connects underserved, low-income pregnant women to doulas, members of the local community trained to provide support during pregnancy, delivery, and the early postpartum period. The program’s overall goals are to enhance infant health, strengthen families, and establish family supports. The program uses a range of service delivery methods to support women. The HomVEE review is based on Community-Based Doula Programs in which home visiting was the primary service delivery strategy. During prenatal home visits, doulas assess families’ needs and strengths, help them develop a birth plan, promote positive health behaviors, and facilitate access to prenatal care and other resources. Postpartum visits focus on supporting breastfeeding; fostering positive parent-child interactions; providing information on infant development, care, and safety; and referring mothers to community resources to address other health or environmental concerns. HC One recommends a minimum of six prenatal and eight postpartum visits. For more information, please read the Model Overview.

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Summary of findings

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