The Health Connect One Mission states:
HealthConnect One (HC One) is a nationally recognized nonprofit training and technical assistance agency that uses innovative, community-based approaches to support direct-service providers in promoting the health of mothers, infants, and families.
On the journey to becoming a professional doula, I have had the honor to be a part of the Health Connect One model of labor doula work. I am amazed at the success, commitment and depth of their program. The Health Connect One experience brings light to the honor and depth of the “Doula” title.
Most recently, I have been a part of the neighborhood doula training. I love the emphasis on meeting a mom where she is. The training focuses on the fundamentals of supporting a mother through pregnancy and her birth. The model teaches doulas to love on a mother how she needs love: whether she is excited about information about her birth choices, or she needs support getting the resources she needs to parent. The supportive love flows into every corner of the mother’s life, giving her the power to make choices. Ultimately, the mother will have a better birth experience because her needs are met and she is empowered to birth and parent how she needs to parent– No matter what it looks like.
This is not to say the normalcy of birth and the importance of breastfeeding are neglected. On the contrary, they are emphasized and encouraged. Birth Matters’ neighborhood doulas have a 100% breastfeeding rate. That speaks volumes for the success of the model.
The neighborhood doulas are exceptional women. They have answered a call to love their neighbors. Health Connect One provides the training to shape that love and calling. The Health Connect One Doulas’ commitment to the health of mothers, infants, and families is inspiring. Sitting with these women, hearing their stories in supporting families is an honor. It has completely reshaped my understanding and practice as a doula.