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Cook County Board passes Miller’s resolution honoring World Doula Day in Cook County

At the Thursday, March 14, meeting, the Cook County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution introduced by Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller to recognize March 22 as World Doula Day in Cook County. 

Homewood is in Miller’s district.

The day coincides with the start of Doula Week, which takes place from March 22-28. The observance serves as a reminder of the contributions doulas (people trained to advise, inform, and offer emotional and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and after the birth of her child) make to supporting women, newborns and families before, during and after birth. The resolution recognizes the instrumental role doulas play in fostering physiological, physiological, social, emotional, and psychological well-being of individuals and families. 

“I went through a difficult delivery, and even with a background in health care, it was necessary to have someone with me to serve as my advocate. I was lucky to have my husband there to fulfill that role — but for many women, that advocacy comes from a doula,” Miller said. “Doulas can make a significant impact on someone’s birth and postpartum experience, as well as health outcomes for the mother and child. 

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“Doulas play a crucial role for so many women and families during a time full of transition and new challenges, and they deserve recognition and celebration for the life-changing work they do.”

Receiving doula support during birth is associated with a reduction in c-sections, premature deliveries and stress and anxiety, as well as a shorter labor. It also can improve breastfeeding success, and can create overall positive impacts on the mother and child. A lack of support prior to and during birth can result in lower birth weight or preterm birth. These outcomes, as well as stressful birthing experiences and other negative outcomes, are particularly common among families with low socioeconomic statuses, non-English speakers and women of color.

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 700 women die in the U.S. each year as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications, with higher deaths in women of color compared to white women. The U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world. 

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