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CentraCare Introduces Doula Program to St. Cloud OB/GYN Clinic

Published in Media Releases

In partnership with Everyday Miracles, CentraCare – Plaza Clinic Obstetrics & Women’s Health is now offering doula services with the goal of providing patients with the most satisfying birth experience through emotional, physical and informational support.

This new partnership to provide doula services developed when the CentraCare Birth Health Equity Committee sought ways to improve Black maternal health. Studies show doulas can reduce time in labor, lower anxiety, decrease use of medical interventions (including C-sections) and improve post-birth mother-baby bonding. Additional data showed that Black women fared better when they had more support during pregnancy.

“CentraCare team members are here to provide our patients with the best possible birthing experience,” said Erica A. Scott, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Specialist. “How a woman experiences childbirth impacts her mentally, physically and emotionally. We want to partner with our birthing persons to be empowered. We listen, we learn, we treat the whole person.”

While doulas do not have medical training, like an OB/GYN physician or midlife, they are trained to provide:

  • Assistance with breathing exercises and other non-medical pain management techniques
  • Advice on labor positions
  • Comfort, encouragement and a soothing voice of experience
  • Patient advocacy during the vulnerable time of labor and the immediate postpartum period

“We look forward to seeing doulas help to support and enhance communication between expectant/ laboring mothers and their health care providers,” said Jacqueline Hoyhtya, MSN, RN, Director of OB/GYN, Laborist, and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. “A doula can play a critical role in improving health outcomes and grows the team approach to assure a healthy mom and baby.”

Through the partnership with Everyday Miracles, CentraCare now has seven doulas: two who are Black, two who speak Spanish, and three doulas who speak Somali.

The doula program is open to any expectant mother who is a patient at the CentraCare – Plaza Clinic Obstetrics & Women’s Health. For more information, call 320-251-2700, ext. 51144.

Interviews with doula and patient available upon request.