When Kendra Nelson was in labor with her second child, small gestures from a doula helped her get through the strongest and most painful contractions.
The woman held Nelson’s hand and spoke words of encouragement. She guided Nelson through breathing exercises and pulled her hair back in a scrunchie to keep her comfortable.
“She was there as a form of support and it made my delivery better,” said Nelson, 32.
Now Nelson is working to become a doula herself, in hopes of helping other women experience a healthier pregnancy and better delivery. Baltimore health officials hope she will play a role in helping to reduce the city’s infant mortality rate.
The city health...