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Birth Companions Program Receives Women’s Board Funding


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Posted: 6/5/2009

The award-winning Birth Companions Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing has received new funding from the Women’s Board of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Now in its eleventh year, the program has offered 525 students the skills and opportunity to serve as doulas – birth companions – and provide informal emotional, physical, and informational support to women in labor.

“As a birth companion, students have an opportunity to provide the emotional care that, as nurses, they might not always have the opportunity to do,” notes Assistant Professor Elizabeth Jordan, DNSc, RNC, co-director of the Birth Companions Program.  ”And studies have shown that support from doulas have benefits such as shortened labor and reduced medical intervention during childbirth.”

The Women’s Board has pledged $13,910 to defray costs for Birth Companions at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and Howard County General Hospital.  The funds pay for 25 electric breast pumps, 40 “onesies” for the infants, three birthing balls, doula manuals for the students, emergency transportation funds for the patients, and stipends for the Birth Companions.

The Women’s Board of The Johns Hopkins Hospital was founded in 1927. For more than 80 years, the Board has been acquainting the public with the work of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and its needs, promoting understanding and support for medicine, and maintaining fundraising projects for the work of Hopkins.   Today, with 60 board members, the organization has contributed nearly $14 million to support patient care at The Johns Hopkins Medical Instit