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The Birth Circle is a grassroots program in Pittsburgh's East End working with the community to build an integrated circle of care that addresses the needs of childbearing families. We do this by developing knowledgeable, supportive networks of women throughout the East End and the surrounding areas, trained to provide accurate, non-judgmental information about pregnancy, birth and early parenting. By helping women to have positive pregnancy, birth and early parenting experiences, we strengthen women, their families and the community as a whole. The Birth Circle gathers lay women from the community to train as doulas (women who provide labor support) and ambassadors (women who provide community-based childbirth information.) Our doulas, ambassadors, physicians and Lamaze instructors make sure that the prenatal care and preparation each family is personalized and incorporates emotional, mental and physical well-being for the whole family.
The Birth Circle started as a grant from the United Way to address issues of infant mortality and has expanded to provide employment and volunteer opportunities to women in the community, doula services and childbirth education at no cost to women within our physician offices and neighborhoods and training to both community members and professionals alike on infant/maternal health issues.