MCH student awarded Rotary Club grant to train volunteer doulas

July 10, 2013
 
Stacey Klaman, master’s student in maternal and child health at Gillings School of Global Public Health, has received a $1,000 grant from The Rotary Club of Chapel Hill to train local women as volunteer doulas at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Doulas provide non-medical support to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and the period of time following the birth.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve other women and help them welcome their children into the world,” Klaman said. “We are particularly proud to be able to offer our services to women who would otherwise be unable to afford doula care, especially women who are completely alone, without family or friends to support them. A positive birth creates a strong foundation for greater confidence in parenting and, in turn, helps to strengthen our community.”

UNC volunteer doulas are available to any woman who would like to have one at delivery. However, UNC Women’s Hospital currently delivers about 300 babies each month – more than 3,000 per year – and there are too few doulas to serve all the women who want one.

“With the support of the Rotary Club’s grant, the volunteer doula program can begin to tap into the strength of the local community and help serve the increasing need of mothers who desire a positive birth experience,” Klaman said.

The Rotary Club of Chapel Hill, one of the area’s oldest service organizations, launched their competitive small-grant initiative, “the Happiness Challenge,” this spring to support local service projects in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.

“Rotary’s motto is ‘service above self,’” said former club president Barbara Wallace, MPH, who also is interim executive director of the Gillings Global Gateway. “We called this initiative “the Happiness Challenge” because finding worthwhile service projects we can support financially and through direct club member action – as Stacey’s program does – makes us very happy.”

 

 

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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu.