Challenges in accessing accurate information and resources was the single largest recurring theme in surveys of Greater Richmond’s childbearing families and service providers conducted by Nurture in 2016 and 2018. The need for “one common place where every provider could post information” and “increased awareness/access for low income at risk families to the assets we have” was recognized across the board. Respondents to our 2020 and 2021 COVID-19 Survey for Pregnant and Postpartum Parents indicated that Lactation Support, Mental Health Support, and Doula Support as their top three needs. Therefore we are beginning with these categories for this initial phase of the project.
The Perinatal Resource Mapping Project is a first step toward the creation of a community driven, web-based “resource navigator” that will contain a searchable, filterable database and calendar of local pregnancy, birth, and early parenting resources, and provide evidence-based content geared towards people who are pregnant or in their first two years of parenting. By documenting and verifying existing resources, the Perinatal Resource Mapping Project will help identify gaps in existing resources and provide a foundation for future initiatives to address these gaps.
What are the project’s geographic boundaries?
Approximately 15,000 people give birth each year in the Virginia Department of Health’s Planning District 15, which comprises the City of Richmond and surrounding counties. For this stage of the project we are collecting information on Lactation Support Providers, Perinatal Mental Health Providers, and Doulas operating in the City of Richmond and Henrico, Chesterfield, Charles City, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan, and New Kent Counties. Once this information is gathered, we will be able to estimate how many providers per 1000 birthing people are operating in the district.
Why are we collecting demographic data from providers?
Representation matters. To our knowledge, this is the first time there has been an attempt to measure both the number and the demographic characteristics of perinatal support providers in the Greater Richmond Area. By gathering demographic characteristics of providers, including race, ethnicity, and age ranges, we’ll be able to estimate how Lactation Support Providers, Perinatal Mental Health Providers, and Doulas reflect the demographics of people giving birth in Health Planning District 15. This will be critical information as we work collectively to address equity and inclusion issues within the local perinatal health ecosystem. In addition, data on age ranges of providers may indicate future gaps due to people reaching retirement age.
Our Outreach Team
During the month of April, five University of Richmond undergraduate students conducted outreach to providers. You can learn more about this outreach team here. We have several student interns and volunteers who will continue this outreach over the summer. You may may receive a phone call or email from a member of our team – please assist them by sharing any additional contacts we should reach out to in order to get an accurate representation of the providers in these sectors.
How can you help?
The more accurately we are able to identify and map the Lactation Support, Perinatal Mental Health Support, and Doula Support Providers operating in our area, the more valuable a resource we can create for parents and providers alike. Please share this page with your colleagues and encourage them to complete the questionnaire, which takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
The database resulting from this project will be shared publicly in order to increase access to existing supports in our community. We appreciate your feedback as we work to create a comprehensive map of pregnancy, birth, and early parenting resources in the Central Virginia region.
Thank you for all that you do! This project and much of the support
already found in our community would not be possible without you.