Recognized regularly as an issue nationwide, infant and maternal health, despite the implementation of new technology and advanced medicine, has not seen any drastic improvements within the last few decades. With the rise of at-risk and high-risk pregnancies due to medical history, socioeconomic status, increasing addiction rates and more, many institutions have attempted to combat this issue by creating teams of medical professionals to aid in decreasing NICU stays and increasing healthier newborn outcomes. While there are a vast number of medical components involved in pregnancy, infant and maternal health is not solely dependent the physician’s expertise. Many recent studies have shown that emotional and physical support are just as important in ensuring mother and infant have a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and transition after birth.
For this reason, the implementation of non-medical perinatal experts, or doulas, is steadily becoming recognized as a necessary component in maternal health; working complementary to obstetric teams to decrease pregnancy and birth complications and cost.
Traditionally viewed as a luxury, mothers who request doula services would personally recruit them based on their needs as doulas will typically specialize in one facet of the perinatal process, prenatal support, birth support, and postpartum support. Due to this fact, the average doula will only have 2-3 visits with a mother for prenatal services and up to 7 visits for postpartum. While the duration of time a doula spends with a mother can vary, this average places limitations on the amount of support a mother can request and may very well need. Also, as this service has developed somewhat of a niche market, the average mother may not be educated on her options of having a doula-supported perinatal experience nor have the funds to do so.
Pettaway Pursuit Foundation (PPF) recognized this as an ongoing issue and has rewritten this narrative by becoming the first organization to collaborate with insurance companies to offer doula support throughout the entire perinatal experience up to 2 months postpartum. From evidence-based workshops to in-home perinatal support, it is PPF's mission is to impact lives, one family at a time by empowering mothers with education and support throughout their perinatal period along with enhancing healthy child development, father involvement, and increasing food security, access to baby essentials, and other resources. Via its Doula By My Side Program (DBMS), members are able to experience a doula-supported pregnancy from both well-experienced and certified professionals at the expense of their healthcare provider.
Pettaway Pursuit Foundation
11 Owen Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050 US
PETTAWAY PURSUIT FOUNDATION ®
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