Open Arms is the leading independent, community-based program in Washington State providing doulas to low-income families.
We serve nearly 300 parents and 300 babies annually.
Since 1997, Open Arms has helped over 2,500 clients who speak 19 different languages, and conducted over 22,000 home visits, resulting in improved maternal and infant health, and strong foundations for early learning.
This document provides an overview of our programs, approach, and amazing outcomes.
- Our award-winning program is not hospital-directed or based. Our trusted, community-centered approach always prioritizes the unique cultural, linguistic, and emotional needs of each client, without a conflict of interest, and free of charge.
- Open Arms clients are referred from other community partners and agencies who trust us to provide the best possible, culturally-sensitive services to our clients. Over 30% of our referrals are from previous clients who seek our services again or refer friends and family. We are proud to have earned their trust and respect.
- Since 1997, Open Arms has served over 2,500 clients and provided over 18,000 home visits.
- Positive social and educational support during this time has a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of new mothers and their families.
- Research shows that women who have doula support have fewer complications such as C-sections, have lower rates of postpartum depression, and are much more likely to breastfeed.
- When a mom receives good support during birth and early postpartum, she’s more likely to attach well to her baby — and this decreases the risk of infant mortality and early child abuse and neglect.
- Parent-child attachment is an essential element in creating a solid foundation that ensures that the child will thrive in his/her learning and readiness for kindergarten and beyond.
- Reduce medical interventions and the costs of perinatal care.
- Provide education about pregnancy, birth options, breastfeeding, and positive early parenting.
- Increase self-awareness and personal advocacy skills, which set the stage for new mothers to be strong and confident advocates for their children and families.
- Remove cultural barriers by providing culturally competent links from community to the health care system.
- Use culturally-sensitive, evidence-based curricula shown to: improve observed parental sensitivity, improve parent knowledge of child social and emotional needs, improve child behavior and child stress physiology, and improve child welfare outcomes, including a significant reduction in foster care placements.
Click Here: The Seattle Times article on how we are changing health disparities for families in our region.
In December 2015, the Washington Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities formally recommended that low-income women should have access to birth doulas through Medicaid, with services provided by accredited community-based organizations such as Open Arms, in recognition of the powerful potential to reduce adverse birth outcomes.