Who is Birthing Families Matter ?
Birthing Families Matter Society’s is a registered Canadian Charity whose mission is to fund, facilitate and carry out activities and programs which support birthing families. BFM Programs serve the birthing community with objectives to reduce health disparities for low income, marginalized, racialized, and oppressed populations and for those encountering disability, family violence, and/or addiction. Through our programs and partnerships our goal is to offer families doula support, counselling, food and mentorship to fill the gaps in our system. This is in alignment with the American College of OBGYNs recommendation to engage rings of support around birthing families to foster increased health and well-being in the birth and postpartum period.
With improved support for families, these services will lead to better birth outcomes, the long term health and well-being of children and families, and a community of support workers (doulas) who are informed and supported in order to extend specialized perinatal care out into the community. Birthing Families Matter Society supports both families and workers, ultimately strengthening and uplifting our communities as a whole.
What is a Doula?
A Doula is a non medical support person who provides emotional and physical comfort during life’s pivotal moments, such as: birth, death, loss, and transition.
Why is Doula support important?
Because it is Preventative health care for the improved health and wellbeing of families and children.
Research shows that “access to doula services for pregnant women who are at risk of poor birth outcomes may help to disrupt the pervasive influence of social determinants as predisposing factors for health during pregnancy and childbirth.”
With a doula present THESE birth outcomes are enhanced:
-Women have more positive birth experiences.
-Babies are four times less likely to have a low birth weight (LBW).
-Women are two times less likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their baby
-Reduced maternal morbidity.
-Reduced neonatal mortality.
-Less medical intervention.
-Less cesarean sections.
-Significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding.
-Women feel more supported pre and postnatally.
Support for every family:
While the benefits of doula support are clear, currently doula care is only affordable to those who are at a social advantage. Many families who are from marginalized groups and or are in a low income bracket do not have the resources to hire this extraneous health support. Our goal is to have available support for all families so that all children have an equitable start in life.
Typically, birth doula care involves two prenatal visits, the birth and then two postpartum visits. While support for the childbirth process is important, as this Cochrane review found, we feel that for groups who are at a disadvantage when it comes to determinants of health that it is important to extend the care in the postpartum period. We feel that at least 10 postpartum care visits, spread out over 6 months, would be necessary to ensure that families have the best support possible and have been connected to useful resources in their community for continued support.
How your donation will help:
-Your donation will help us get families the support they need and deserve through the critical time of pregnancy, birth and postpartum: The specific support we currently offer to families is Counselling support and Doula support.
-Your donation will ensure that our birth workers are well trained and paid fairly for their work. Doulas will also be able to offer their support to families who may not have otherwise been able to afford it.
-Your donation will help strengthen our communities as families will be stronger and more able to actively contribute to the community.
Who will benefit:
-Families: Studies and experience show that increased support to families throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum increases healthy outcomes and well-being .
-Doulas: Doulas who are well trained and paid appropriately for their work will be able to offer continued support for families.
-The medical system: Doula support for families leads to a decrease in medical interventions, and improved birth outcomes.
-Communities: Everyone will benefit from your donation, because improving the determinants of health of individuals improves the health of the community as a whole.
Where the funds go:
-Your donations will go towards running our counselling program: Birthing Families Counselling which has just received a grant to begin running in January 2021.
-Your donation will cover the costs of implementing out Community Doula Connection Program.
-Your donation will help us create awareness of our program via events and information sessions.
Ultimately your donation will connect families with support that they need, and create employment for women.
How soon we need the funds:
We are a small group of people working hard to get this project running. Your donations are needed now as they will help us get families the support they deserve.
Birthing Families Matter Team
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