New board members welcomed by Doula Program

The Labor of Love Doula Program has welcomed new board members.

Alexandria James, Panama, N.Y., works as a customer development manager; Lucinda Ann Marsh, of Sugar Grove, owns and is a chiropractor at Marsh Chiropractic; Hiral Patel, Warren, owns and is a chiropractor at Warren Family Chiropractic; Bekah Windsor, Dewittville, N.Y., is a stay-at-home mom; and Cristen Wilkins, Warren, is employed at Northwest Bank, which has been a part of the board since the program was founded in 2013.

The Labor of Love Doula Program is a 501c3 non-profit organization and was founded by Julie Thompson of Sugar Grove in 2013. Along with Julie, there are two other Doulas, Sparkelynn Odebralski from Fredonia, N.Y., and Mary Hetrick from Jamestown, N.Y.; all who have been trained by DONA International.

The goal of the program is to have a Doula available for every person who wants one before, during, and after their birth in the post-partum period.

A Doula is that one-on-one support person that stays with the laboring mom until a couple hours after her birth, believing that the quality and experience of birth and early parent-hood have far reaching consequences for individuals, families, and society as a whole. This critical period of transition presents a unique opportunity for personal growth and transformation. A Doula provides breastfeeding support so that every family will have the opportunity to have a successful and joyful experience.

A Doula recognizes that families will benefit from the specialized care and support during pregnancy, labor and birth, and the postpartum adjustment period. Therefore, this group is committed to making Doulas widely available to all families. A sliding fee scale is available to all mothers depending on their income. Since the beginning of the program in 2013, the Doulas have assisted in 44 births, 28 of which have been free births. Therefore, 64 percent of these births have been at no cost to mothers, who would have never had the option of having the support of a Doula in the first place.

The group works as a team with the caregivers in both Warren and Chautauqua county.

For more information about the program and services, visit doulaslaboroflove.com.

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