MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – The Parents as Teachers National Center is offering a rare doula program to expectant mothers in the St. Louis area, especially Black expectant mothers who reside in under-resourced communities, and to women in maternal shelters throughout the region. 

The nonprofit organization has five certified full-spectrum doulas and three lactation consultants on staff. Doulas are not medical professionals, but they work with pregnant women to help them navigate the healthcare system and develop birthing plans. They work with pregnant women prenatally, through labor and delivery, and postpartum. 

Research shows Black women are more than three times as likely to die of pregnancy and childbirth-related complications than white women. Studies point to social factors and racial disparities in women’s healthcare, among other reasons. The doula program is free of charge, but requirements must be met to participate in the program. 

For more information, go to the Parents as Teachers website at, or call the organization directly at (314) 432-4330.