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Human-Centered Design and Coalition Building

Case Study 
United Way of Tarrant County – Maternal Health Community-Doula Initiative Tarrant County, Texas

This program will change the system of support care for women’s health by launching a community-based Doula initiative in the 76104 zip code to improve maternal care during pregnancy, childbirth, and through the postpartum period, resulting in a myriad of positive health outcomes for women and their children, but most importantly reducing maternal mortality rates, especially amongst low-income, women of color. Doulas provide non-clinical physical, emotional, and informational support to those who are pregnant, and data shows that doula-supported births significantly improve pregnancy outcomes and medical interventions. In this initiative, identified nurses and community-based doulas would be identified and trained to provide peer assistance to expecting parents, ensuring they are seen, heard, and supported from early pregnancy to the months immediately following childbirth, focusing on women and families of color.


The initiative will also train individuals in the community with similar shared life experiences to provide doula services independently, thus building up the community’s capacity for patient-centered and advocated births and building trust between the community and medical providers within hospital systems. Additionally, given that hospital systems would be involved in this work, this initiative will work directly with such systems to ensure operational structures are in place while providing quality improvement training on fully recognizing the role of doulas during pregnancy and delivery.

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