Doula Services

As an advocate for maternal and infant well-being, we know the important role doulas play in supporting families from pregnancy into the earliest years of a child’s life.

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What is a doula?

Young child holding mother's pregnant bellyA doula is a trained professional who helps a person achieve the healthiest pregnancy, labor and delivery possible by providing continuous educational, emotional and physical support at all stages of pregnancy.

Doulas support and comfort pregnant people and help them to have a safe and memorable birthing experience. A doula is responsible for informing and educating families about the different medical interventions, comfort measures, patient rights and other topics related to childbirth and post-partum education.

Doula Care 101

Our Expertise in Doula Services

Doula services and home visiting have been at the heart of Start Early’s work for over 40 years. See how we work directly with children and families, support the family professionals and advocate for policies that prioritize access to high-quality services.

Directly Serving Families

Caregiver holding babyWe deliver doula and home visiting services for families living in under-resourced communities — both in-home and virtually — through our Healthy Parents & Babies program, which offers support and coaching to pregnant people, young parents and children from birth through age 3 throughout Chicago.

In addition to providing our doula and home visiting programs, our Home Visiting & Doula Network partners with community agencies throughout Illinois, providing technical assistance and support, allowing us to scale our reach and impact by sharing our lessons learned with other community programs.

Providing Best Practices & Support

Newborn baby and motherHome visitors, doulas and family support professionals are an essential part of family wellbeing and strong program outcomes. As such, Start Early provides best practices and support to family support professionals across the country.

In Illinois, Start Early provides professional development opportunities to over 300 programs through the Professional Learning Network across the state. In addition, Start Early develops national professional development resources including The Essentials of Home Visiting, our online training platform designed for family professionals.

Advocating for Policies

Little girl smilingPolicy and advocacy are integral parts of Start Early’s mission to ensure young children and their families have access to quality, equitable early learning and care. Advocating for policies that prioritize access to high-quality doula and home visiting services is a proven way to support and strengthen positive outcomes for children and families.

Explore the future of early childhood with our Shaping Futures Together Agenda, our first-ever research and policy agenda that describes priorities identified by parents and practitioners. See insights about critical federal policies that could best support families and ensure all young children thrive.

Our Impact in Home Visiting & Doula Services

See firsthand how our doulas help new and expecting parents build a strong foundation for their children to thrive.

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