Open Arms Perinatal Services is an innovative nonprofit dedicated to providing strong community-based support for women through pregnancy, birth and postpartum. We have provided services to pregnant women and their families in the Puget Sound area since 1997.
The time around the birth of a baby is a transformational time for women and is a tremendous opportunity to support families in getting the best start in life. Through doula care and breastfeeding peer support, we achieve better health outcomes, strengthen mother-baby bonding and increase parental self-advocacy skills.
Open Arms’ unique services include home visits beginning during pregnancy, attendance at the birth of the baby and ongoing support. We provide referrals and early parenting education up to two years after a baby is born. We also provide home visits by trained counselors to support breastfeeding. In all of our services, we carefully match clients to care providers from the same community whenever possible, and we have the capacity to work with clients in seventeen different languages. Our work is foundational for maternal-infant health and early learning efforts.
Open Arms serves about 2700 new mothers each year, supporting and caring for low-income families at a pivotal time when the positive impact is most profound – and when the cost of being unsupported can be equally profound.
The Open Arms Perinatal Services Outreach Doula Program is nationally accredited by HealthConnect One. Our Outreach Doula Program—which has offered strong support in the Somali and Latina communities in Seattle since 2008—is the first community doula program in the nation to achieve accreditation. National accreditation validates our community-centered approach to providing services to women and families and affirms the excellence and quality of our program.
Open Arms won the 2010 Seattle Human Services Coalition Award for Innovative Program. The Coalition recognized our unique, culturally competent doula services as a crucial element in helping to eliminate health disparities in our communities and addressing these disparities from the earliest stage of human development. The award also cited our positive program results, which include providing education about pregnancy and positive early parenting, increasing rates of breastfeeding and reducing medical interventions and the cost of prenatal care.
My doulas helped create and support an environment of love, humor, reverence and confidence for us, and I recall my labor with feelings of joy and triumph. I wish all women would enjoy such a gift!::Open Arms Client