Shayla Brown, resident of Winstonville, said she works with an organization that aids in easing the troubled minds of expecting mothers.
"Birth is suppose to be a beautiful experience but it is not being seen as that. Of course women are going to experience a natural amount of fear during pregnancy and childbirth but that should not be the over powering feeling. We just want to put birth back into the hands of women," said Brown.
Brown is a trained Doula birth companion – a person who assists and supports the mother and father during pregnancy and the birthing process.
"I was trained through the International Center for Traditional Childbearing in Louisiana. We offer physical, mental, nutritional and educational support during pregnancy and after birth," said Brown.
"We are kind of like a step down from a midwife – there are not medical procedures involved it is basically all about support during pregnancy and birth," she added.
According to Brown there are not very many trained Doulas in the Mississippi Delta. She is set to host a ICTC Full Circle Doula training in Winstonville beginning July 24 – 2, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., at the Clare E. Williams Community Building.
There is an $800 registration fee, which includes training material, travel expenses and lodging expenses for the training.
Although the training is a bit expensive, Brown said she currently has a virtual campaign going on to raise money and if the program receives enough donations, women will be able to attend the training at a reduced cost.
The ICTC Full Circle Doula is a 29 hour birth companion training program that includes cultural awareness and sensitivity, infant mortality prevention, high risk pregnancies, medical terminology, prenatal support, labor and birth management, postpartum and breastfeeding support, nutrition, relaxation techniques, lead prevention, professional business development, traditional and spiritual birthing practices, and much more.
Graduates receive a provisional certificate and ongoing support for full certification.
Doulas help to offer individualized care to expecting mothers that they may not receive during doctor visits.
"Decisions made during pregnancy should not solely be dependent on the doctor because most doctors are so swamped with patients and they are unable to give individualized care to expecting mothers," she said.
According to Brown, ICTC has trained over 1,000 Full Circle Doulas that have supported and encouraged women during pregnancy and assisted in decreasing the infant mortality rate in Mississippi.
ICTC Full Circle Doulas are internationally recognized, culturally competent community health workers who provide beneficial labor, birth and postpartum services.
ICTC Full Circle Doulas are trained to improve birth outcomes and increase breastfeeding rates in the communities they serve.
"We assist soon to be parents with nutritional information, birthing options and different techniques during contractions – we try to support the mother during the birthing process and we try to aid in making the mother as comfortable as possible," she said.
"We also go to doctor visits with the mother or meet at the mother's request," Brown continued.
According to Brown, for every 1,000 babies born in Mississippi, at least eight die before age one.
"We believe that one of the reasons that this happens is because of a lack of education. Sometimes women fail to understand that choices made during pregnancy affect the baby and the overall health during pregnancy," she added.
Brown said sometimes doctors may perform procedures that may not be necessary during childbirth and a lot or women do not know this because they are ill informed.
"They could say, "yes" to a procedure that could be detrimental to them and their baby," she said.
According to Brown, women need to be empowered to understand that birth and labor techniques and procedures are totally up to them and that they should take more of an active role as to how they choose to bring their child into the world.
She also said the program is planning a community baby shower and birth exposition as a fundraiser in March.
For more information, contact Brown at 662-721-7381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Doula training to be offered