Every November is Prematurity Awareness Month. This is largely sponsored by the March of Dimes and is a worldwide event. Many cities wind up doing things to honor this awareness month like turning bridges and buildings purple, one of the signature colors of the March of Dimes.
They kick off the month with a release of report cards around prematurity for each of the United States. This gives you a great place to break into the news cycle or develop content for consumers that shows that doulas are multi-faceted and not just there to help some families having some version of an “ideal” birth, doulas are there for everyone. So here are five different ways that you can talk about it:
- Use the data to create social media posts about prematurity statistics in your state. This brings general awareness to the fact that preterm birth happens.
- Link this data to resources for families. (This is where your personal resource list comes in handy!) Can you connect them to a group for parents experiencing bedrest, a parents of multiples organization, or a group who assists families in the NICU? What do you have in your area that can be very helpful for families?
- Consider giving a public presentation at a library or community center on the resources available for families. You could also use it to talk about how doulas help with prematurity. Consider talking about it from a popular press angle like this article or take a more scholarly approach with articles like this one that says: “For example, doulas may provide education, logistical planning, and social support to help reduce stress associated with preterm labor. Stress has been shown to be associated with preterm labor, but it is not something that can be reduced when family support is limited or home responsibilities are demanding. Thus, a doula’s support can be vital.”
- World Prematurity Awareness Day is November 17th. This may be a day that you will find more public events. Perhaps this is a place to partner with other organizations in your area, even simply as a volunteer. This is a great way to meet other providers and people in your area.
- Consider this a time to reconnect with your clients who have experienced preterm labor and/or preterm birth. Send them a card or give them a call – just tell them you’re thinking about them. You might even consider asking if they’d be willing to share with you what was helpful for them and how you could have aided them differently.