Supporting the parent-child bond, starting before birth

Our doulas are trained, community-based paraprofessionals who work primarily with first-time, teen parents to help them build strong bonds with their babies before the child is born. Doulas provide weekly home visits to encourage prenatal care, offer ongoing support at the hospital during labor and delivery, and provide postpartum home visits for 6 to 8 weeks.

Doula programs:

  • build expectant and new mothers’ confidence in their abilities
  • increase breastfeeding rates
  • provide screening for perinatal and postpartum depression
  • strengthen and reinforce fathers’ involvement in a baby’s care
  • increase the use of birth control after a baby is born
  • increase the likelihood that young parents are in school a year after a baby’s birth

More than 10,000 babies have been born through the Ounce doula program since its inception in 1996. Each year, we serve about 700 expecting mothers. The Ounce also provides training and support to a network of more than 46 doulas providing services in 24 community-based programs in Illinois.

Our doula programs have been featured in The Atlantic, New Republic and Catalyst Chicago.


These videos and more are also available on YouTube.