We are big fans of doulas. There are more than a few reasons why. On our team, we have personal experience having doulas attend our own births and some of us even trained and worked as doulas. There’s also the science. It tells us doulas help families come out stronger. What’s a doula? Centered around the birthing family, doulas are important partners in the birth care team, along with nurses, midwives, and doctors. Here’s a little bit of what doulas do: Doulas and the Birth Team Some people don’t realize this- that doulas are not health care providers. They are helpers! Doulas focus on care, support, and advocacy. And they are important part of the birth team! Doulas share hours together with families during pregnancy. They stay with families through the whole labor while nurses, midwives and doctors in the hospital usually must divide time between families to ensure everyone gets 
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January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month, a time to focus on educating parents and the organizations that support them about the vital practices, programs, and services that contribute to the well-being of families and children in our community – this is the work of First 5 Mendocino.
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As part of its ongoing work to support the well-being of local children, First 5 Mendocino hosted its annual Children's Mental Health Summit in Ukiah on May 11 and 12. This year’s event featured renowned experts Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, Dr. Robert Sege, and Gaelin Elmore, who addressed the critical topic of children's mental health and included a community-wide conversation on nurturing resilient and emotionally healthy children.
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Doulas and health care providers- including doctors and midwives licensed to practice in California- can support optimal birth and pregnancy outcomes working together. With the new Medi-Cal Benefit covering doula support for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum more families can access doula support. And together doulas and perinatal care providers can make headway improving outcomes and reducing disparities in birth outcomes. 
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The Medi-Cal Doula Benefit A new Medi-Cal doula benefit includes support during pregnancy, labor and birth, and for after baby arrives. They can help with questions about baby care, breastfeeding and lactation, support personal care by giving you a chance to shower, nap or otherwise take care of yourself.
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