All of us at Origin are thrilled to announce our partnership with the Global Women's Health Initiative (GWHI), a non-profit organization founded by physical therapists and dedicated to transforming the lives of women by informing, educating, and engaging medical communities.
Through this partnership, Origin will work with GWHI to develop asynchronous educational programming for BIPOC doulas working in underserved communities. This programming will be aimed at providing a deeper understanding of pelvic care in pregnancy and postpartum. We also hope to involve our PTs in 1:1 and small group doula training and mentorships.
As most of us are aware, this is a critical time to support BIPOC birthing individuals and their newborns, who continue to face grave and unnecessary risks. As just one example, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the maternal mortality rate for Black women in the U.S. is more than three times higher than that of white women. Black infants are also twice as likely as white infants to die before their first birthday.
Supporting the education and training of BIPOC doulas working in underserved communities can help prevent these devastating losses.
Doulas not only provide specialized education and care that’s been proven to improve maternal and infant health outcomes, BIPOC doulas have a unique understanding of the racial disparities that can impact the birthing experience for people of color, at every stage of their healthcare journey. Because of this understanding, they are better able to support a safe environment for birthing individuals to prepare for childbirth, deliver their baby, and rest and recover postpartum.
"Doulas are able to increase education with their clients and get women to physical therapy faster."
“GWHI’s focus and the goal of the program is to highlight and increase knowledge and awareness of pelvic floor therapy and also the potential for pelvic floor therapy to decrease maternal morbidity, given the state of maternal health in this country,” says Dr. Juan Michelle Martin PT, DPT, IHPS, who helped develop the GWHI’s Doula Education Program and is one of the lead educators. “We want to do that in collaboration with doulas — who are the boots on the ground — are able to increase education with their clients and get women to physical therapy faster.”
Ideally, every birthing individual — and especially those in underserved communities — would have access to care from a pelvic floor physical therapist and doula who can meet their unique needs. As a growing women’s health start-up, we are grateful to be in a position where we can join forces with wonderful organizations like the GWHI and begin to take small steps toward making this ideal a reality. If you’re interested in contributing to this and other GWHI initiatives, please make a donation here. No amount is too small!