As part of its ongoing efforts to improve maternal and infant health in New York, the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation recently announced a $75,000 grant for Episcopal Health Services Inc.’s (EHS) Postpartum Doula Care Program, providing 120 underserved women on the Rockaway peninsula with doula services.
EHS was presented with a check for the program on Thursday, November 9 at the Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center, located at 105-38 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.
“The importance of working to improve maternal care cannot be overstated,” said AnneBeth Litt, MD, chief medical director for Empire BlueCross BlueShield. “At Empire, we remain committed to supporting the critical work of partners like Episcopal Health Services as they strive to make New York a healthier, safer place for mothers and babies with innovative programs like this postpartum doula care program.”
The overarching goal of the postpartum doula program is to reduce morbidity and mortality among mothers and babies in the Rockaways and surrounding communities. Through the support of the postpartum doulas, the program aims to improve breastfeeding, decrease the likelihood of postpartum depression, support better understanding of the needs of the new baby, and improve the physical and mental health of mothers by monitoring and referring them to physicians when needed.
“Doulas have been shown to be associated with improved delivery outcomes, and better overall maternal health,” said Jacqueline Marecheau, MD, chairperson of OB/GYN at EHS. “With maternal health in this country facing increased challenges, we’re proud to offer this important program to help mothers have the best experience possible before, during, and after their delivery.”
Also available are free doula-led classes on childbirth education, baby wearing, lactation, and more, both in-person and virtually. In addition to classes, EHS offers on-call and virtual doula support and resources and referrals throughout the pregnancy journey. To learn more about EHS’ Postpartum Doula Program, visit: ehs.org/doula or call 516-308-2479.