For women, pregnancy and childbirth can mean less-than-ideal encounters with the health care system – especially for women of color. A 2019 study showed that one in six pregnant women reported mistreatment by a health care provider. The study identifies a need to give women a stronger voice in health care conversations.
Women don’t have to navigate these challenges alone. Doulas — individuals trained to provide physical, emotional and informational support to women throughout pregnancy — can create more positive birth experiences.
“I nurture families, empower them, let them know that they have a voice,” says Melinda King, a certified doula and CVS Health nurse.