ST. LOUIS – SSM St. Mary’s and SSM DePaul Hospitals have launched a pilot for a doula partnership with On Up, an organization that provides 1:1 doula care, in person and virtually, to pregnant and postpartum women and birthing parents.

Doula support compliments clinical care provided by OBs & Midwives. Our pilot doula program is specifically geared towards connecting WISH Clinic patients with doulas. The program will sponsor approximately 40 families. This pilot doula program is sponsored by Healthy Blue. All WISH (Women and Infant Substance Abuse Help) clinic patients will be eligible to receive free doula services if they choose to participate in the pilot, even those who do not have Healthy Blue insurance.

Tamare Banks is the Women’s Center program manger who says, “in the future, I’m really hoping to expand this funding so that we can offer it to all of our patients because we see a lot of high-risk patients here. Not just patients with substance abuse, but we see a variety of patients.”

WISH Clinic patients will be paired with trained doulas who have been oriented to SSM Women’s Services. Doulas also have received specialty training on how to effectively support mothers who have substance use disorders and care for NAS infants. Doulas will attend three prenatal visits, the entire laboring experience, as well as three postpartum visits with the patients. Nurses, social workers, and physicians at the WISH Clinic are onboard with the program and are encouraging patients to enroll. Flyers marketing the program are given early in the pregnancy, so patients may form relationships with doulas early on and continue to build throughout their prenatal experience.

To learn more about birthing options at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.