Doula Randomized Control Trial

Closing the achievement gap by engaging parents in their child’s development and education before birth

The Ounce of Prevention Fund is partnering with the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration to plan and implement a rigorous research study to examine the impact of the Ounce’s doula-enhanced home visiting services on parenting and child health and well-being.  Doulas are trained mentors from the community who help young families establish strong parent-child relationships before the child is even born. By encouraging healthy prenatal practices, offering support during labor and delivery, and fostering bonds between babies and mothers and fathers, doulas help establish the foundation for a child’s future health and development.

The state of Illinois was awarded a grant from the Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) as a result of a competitive proposal for expansion of promising home visiting models. This grant award included funding for this randomized study of the Ounce’s doula/home visiting program. The four-year, randomized control trial includes a diverse group of mothers and will measure outcomes such as breastfeeding, parenting skills, and children’s social-emotional development.

Private funding has been essential to the planning and implementation of this study. To learn more about or to support this project, please contact April Wozniak, vice president of development, at 312.256.8898.

The planning phase of this project has been generously supported by The Philanthropic Collaborative.