Brookings Health System to be First in the Nation to Offer Volunteer Postpartum Doula Program

Posted: 8/6/2012

Brookings Health System announced today the organization has extended its popular volunteer labor doula program to also include volunteer postpartum doulas. It is the first organization in the nation to offer volunteer postpartum doula services free of charge to parents.

“We’ve had a positive response from parents regarding our volunteer doulas helping them during the delivery process,” said Chief Nursing Officer Tammy Hillestad. “Our volunteer doulas are passionate about the entire childbirth experience, including supporting the mother, baby and family after delivery. They are eager to provide physical and emotional support to new moms and their families.”

Labor doulas are women who provide continuous labor support during childbirth, work together with the mother and her partner to assist with emotional and physical support, and use relaxation techniques such as positioning and comforting touch.

Postpartum doulas help parents in the first days after delivering a new baby to help them transition and adjust to having a newborn. They help parents with items like infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother-baby bonding, infant soothing and basic newborn care during their postpartum stay at Brookings Health System.

Brookings Health System’s volunteer doula program officially launched Oct. 1, 2011, in response to community feedback from three birth experience focus groups. Seventeen trained doulas volunteer one, 24-hour shift per month to help area parents during their birth experience.

Expectant parents who would like to use doula services during the labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum process at no cost to them may contact Doula Program Coordinator Emily Delbridge at edelbridge@brookingshealth.org or (605) 696-9000 for more details.

Brookings Health System provides full obstetrics services to expectant parents and enables area residents to deliver their baby close to home with a local physician.

For more information about Brookings Health System’s full obstetrics services, please visit www.brookingshealth.org/OB.

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.