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Free Content Childbirth Education and Doula Care During Times of Stress, Trauma, and Grieving

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A collaborative, interspecialty volunteer program extending for nine months after September 11, 2001, provided free support and service to pregnant women widowed by the attacks on the World Trade Center. Participating providers studied the physiological and psychological effects of stress. Group sharing, discussions about the effects of emotions on labor progress, and other techniques were incorporated into sessions. The program's success suggests that childbirth educators should prepare all pregnant women to cope with stress. Subsequent national and international events have reinforced the importance of such training. The childbirth educator can also help by maintaining a referral list of local trauma counselors and other resources.
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Keywords: loss; trauma

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: DEBRA PASCALI-BONARO, a Doulas of North America (DONA)-approved doula trainer and a member of DONA's original board of directors, received Lamaze International's Elisabeth Bing Award for “her dedication and vision in mobilizing support for the childbearing widows of September 11.” She serves on the Leadership Council of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services and was project director for the Maternity Center Association Forum on Stress, Trauma, and Communal Grieving: The Experiences of Pregnant Women, New Mothers, and Maternity Care Providers after 9/11.

Publication date: 01 September 2003

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