Brookings Health System and SDSU Look for Moms to Share Their Thoughts

  • March 14, 2013

Brookings Health System and South Dakota State University are asking moms to provide feedback on their birth experience as part of a cooperative research study to examine the volunteer doula program at New Beginnings Birth Center.

“This is an opportunity for women to share their birth story - to talk about an experience, which for most is a transformational and celebratory moment in their lives,” said Jennifer Anderson, an assistant professor at SDSU and principal investigator who is working with a multidisciplinary team of women professionals from SDSU and Brookings Health System on this research project.

The research team is actively recruiting women who are 18 or older, and have given birth any time since October 2011 at Brookings Health System to participate in a one-on-one, 60 minute interview. They are also asking women who are 18 or older, and are currently pregnant and plan to give birth at Brookings Health System to participate in a 45-60 minute focus group. Use of volunteer doula services is not required to participate.

The research study will examine the experiences of mothers and Brookings Health System staff since the implementation of the volunteer doula program in October 2011. The research project is funded by grants from the Rural Health Research Center at SDSU and the Women and Giving Foundation at SDSU.

Because Brookings Health System is paving new ground with this program – they are the first health system in the state to offer a volunteer doula program and the first in the nation to provide volunteer postpartum doulas – both the hospital and research team are eager to learn what moms think of the program. Anderson, whose specialty is in health communication, is the principal investigator of the research project.

“We want to hear from the women who this program is designed to serve. Feedback from mothers, or moms-to-be who volunteer for this research, will have an impact,” Anderson said.

Volunteer Today

Moms and moms-to-be who volunteer for this research study will be asked to share their thoughts and experiences by joining in focus group discussions and/or one-on-one conversations with one of the members of the research team.

Typical questions volunteers will be asked will include;

  • Tell me about the child you delivered at New Beginnings Birth Center/or what do you know about the child you will deliver?
  • How did you prepare, or how are you preparing for the birth of your child?
  • What was the birth like? Or what is your birth plan?
  • Overall, how would you describe your birthing experience at New Beginnings Birth Center, or how would you describe your interactions with New Beginnings Birth Center staff or OB/GYN?

 All women who volunteer will receive $30 Chamber CA$H giftcard, which can be used at a number of participating Brookings businesses. To participate in the study, contact Anderson at (605) 688-6552 or To learn more about the volunteer doula program visit

Child care will be provided free of charge during the interviews.

Brookings Health System provides full obstetrics services to expectant parents and enables area residents to deliver their baby close to home with a local physician.

For more information about Brookings Health System’s full obstetrics services, please visit

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at