ARIZONA NEWS

Banner hospital launches new doula program for expecting moms

Aug 1, 2019, 4:45 AM | Updated: 9:47 pm

Alyssa Leon has been a doula in the Valley for six years. (KTAR News/Griselda Zetino)...

Alyssa Leon has been a doula in the Valley for six years. (KTAR News/Griselda Zetino)

(KTAR News/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — Expecting moms will be able to have doulas help them through labor at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix.

The hospital is welcoming doulas as part of its new Banner Doula Program.

“A doula is a non-medical support person that provides support to moms through their pregnancy, their labor and postpartum period,” said Alyssa Leon, who’s been a doula in the Valley for six years.

She added doulas provide prenatal education and resources to moms while they’re pregnant. Once they go into labor, the doulas help them transition to their birthplace, such as a hospital. They then stay with the moms a few hours after the birth and check in after the moms and their babies go home.

“We’re able to support them through such a vulnerable time,” Leon said. “When we’re able to give them a voice and teach them tools to advocate for themselves, it helps their postpartum period.”

Leon attended an event Tuesday at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix where the new doula program was introduced.

She said she’s happy to hear doulas like her will now be able to be with moms as they’re having their babies, including in operating rooms for moms having a C-section.

“When it is medically necessary to have a cesarean, with doulas being able to go into the OR to support them, we’re able to continue that continuity of care,” she said.

Christina Tussey, a clinical nurse specialist with Banner Health, said the growing popularity of doulas is one reason why the hospital launched this program.

“There’s an increasing number of patients seeking out or hiring doulas in the community to help them with the labor support,” she said. “We recognize that and we want to be collaborative with them and work together with them.”

Banner Del E. Webb in Sun City West launched a similar doula program last year.

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Banner hospital launches new doula program for expecting moms