Denver Health Doula Video

The Denver Health Doula Program (DHDP) was created and founded by Phoebe Lehr, CNM, WHNP, in January 2016. As a Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Denver Health for 2 years, Phoebe saw a need for culturally responsive, quality doula support while providing prenatal and perinatal care to families at Denver Health, particularly families with complicated histories and high social needs.

A doula is a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born. They provide continuous presence during labor and delivery, reassurance, guidance, and often bridge the cultural and language gap between the women and medical staff. Doulas facilitate open communication between women in labor and staff, enhancing patient autonomy and personal engagement in the labor process. Denver Health doulas are specially trained volunteers.

Evidence correlates doula support with multiple health benefits, including earlier breastfeeding initiation, increased breastfeeding longevity, increased rates of uncomplicated deliveries, reduced cesareans, fewer NICU admissions, and reduced postpartum depression. Additionally, benefits were greater when doula support was provided to traditionally marginalized communities, which is the bulk of the deliveries at Denver Health. The American College of Nurse Midwives, American College of OBGYNs, and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine all endorse doulas as one of the most effective methods of improving perinatal outcomes. Doulas are an underutilized resource for improving perinatal outcomes without any risk of harm.

Denver Health is currently recruiting, training and retaining members from the Denver Metro area to be birth doulas with a focus on supporting vulnerable populations.


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