BMH Doula Program Celebrates 10 Years

In conjunction with the international observation of World Doula Week March 22-28, the Doula Program at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will celebrate 10 years of providing services to the community.

A doula is a trained woman who comforts and supports mothers and their families as they bring their babies into the world. Scientific trials have shown remarkable improved birth outcomes because of the presence of a doula. They also show a decreased amount of intervention and a higher number of mothers viewing their birth as a positive experience.

BMH presently has 14 volunteer doulas whose services are provided free of charge. The program is coordinated by Carol Schnabel, who is one of the hospital’s original doulas. Training for each doula involves presentations by a certified midwife, a pediatrician, an anesthesiologist and a trained hypnobirthing nurse.

“A Doula understands the physiology of birth and the needs of a woman in labor,” says Schnabel. “She provides continuous emotional and informational support during and immediately after birth, and can assist a woman and her family with preparing and carrying out a birth plan.”

Program coordinator Schnabel says plans for celebrating the anniversary include holding a potluck dinner with doulas from Cheshire Medical Center. For more information about accessing doula services and training sessions, send an email to

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