Mobile Doula Bus Brings New Options To Women In At-Risk Areas

By Sandy Meyer

Barefoot Birth is Charlie Rae Young’s brainchild. Young, a resident of Brandon, came up with the concept after an unsatisfying experience birthing her first child. “We had hired a midwife to deliver in the hospital and ended up with a very typical hospital birth, kind of everything we didn’t want,” explained Young.  In 2008, after heavily researching maternity care in the United States, Barefoot Birth opened its doors with help from Young’s partner, Megan D’orzio.

The purpose of Barefoot Birth is to provide alternative prenatal and birthing options to women with low-risk pregnancies.

Young, a doula and student midwife, is set to become a fully-licensed midwife this fall. “I knew that I wanted to become a midwife and help other women navigate the maternity care system,” she shares.

Barefoot Birth currently offers doula services and this fall will add midwife services to its clients. It recently purchased a bus and began renovations on it to become a fully-functional and mobile birthing service.  “The bus is our new project providing prenatal care to women in at risk areas.  Instead of seeing the health department or private OB/GYN, we will be going into those communities with the bus and providing really great comprehensive prenatal care to those women who otherwise are kind of left with a small choice of providers,” Young says.

The bus is slated to begin its services sometime this fall and will be offering two prenatal days per week in two areas in West Tampa and Eastern Hillsborough County.  Women in need of these services can be referred through Healthy Start, Medicaid, or simply through word of mouth.

Funding for these services from Barefoot Bus is currently being raised through private donations.  The goal is $10,000 to get the bus stocked and ready to go by fall.  Donations are still needed and anyone interested in helping this cause, can go to Barefoot Birth’s Facebook page and click on the campaign link located in the Comments section.  More information as well as contact information can be found at barefootbirth.com.