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Essex County Community Doula Pilot

The overarching goal of SPAN's Essex County Community Doula Pilot Project is to improve preconception, prenatal, and interconception care and reduce pre-term births, low birth weight, and infant mortality rates by connecting Essex County underserved women and men to community doula supports.  The project targets black women in Newark, who are least likely to receive prenatal care or to have a “medical home,” and most likely to have poorer pregnancy outcomes including black infant and maternal mortality.  SPAN also provides leadership development and support to Newark women to advocate for quality pre-natal, natal, and post-natal services and supports for black women.

SPAN's Community Doula team supports black women in Newark with community doula care and advocacy to access pre-natal, natal, and post-natal care to improve birth outcomes, increase breastfeeding, and reduce black infant and maternal mortality and use of unnecessary C-sections.



The Essex County/Newark Community Doula project is funded by a health service grant from by the New Jersey Department of Health

Rachel Ruel
Project Director
What families/professions are saying about this project: 

" Community Health Workers"

Key Resources of Interest: 

Community Doula Project

Have a Community Doula!: IPO Community doulas provide prenatal/postpartum visits, labor support, and connections to community resources for women living in Essex County, NJ.   

Be a Community Doula!: Do you live in Essex County and have an interest with supporting women/ babies as a community doula/birth professional? 

Know a Community Doula!:


SPAN Community Doula Staff:

Arelis Martinez, 973-489-0620

Rachel Jean-Miles, 973-642-8100