Doulas have existed for centuries as a support for mamas during prenatal, pregnancy & postpartum. Prior to colonization, a doula could have been your mother, cousin, friend, or community member who provided advocacy & support for mamas & families during pregnancy, birth & postpartum. Ancestrally, supporting a mama was innate and a skill passed down from family to family. Today we are working towards reclaiming this knowledge and honoring the role of those who support our life givers.
There is one significant difference between a midwife and a doula. Midwives are clinical and doulas are not. Midwives provide medical care for you during pregnancy, birth, and during the early stage of postpartum. Doulas are not clinical, and will not perform medical or clinical tasks. Instead, Doulas meet your physical and emotional needs during labor and delivery, while also providing support and resources during your postpartum stage. Doulas will work alongside your family, midwife or medical provider to ensure you have the birth experience you desire.
Understanding the benefits of a Doula is essential to your birthing plan. Doulas will provide you with much needed support in the following areas:
In San Francisco, the five-year preterm birth rate among Black women and birthing people nearly doubles that of white women and birthing people, 14.5% compared to 7.1%, for 2018-2020. Evidence shows that doula care improves pregnancy, birth, and postpartum outcomes. A Cochrane review that looked at 27 trials of doula support for women during childbirth found that having a community doula reduced preterm birth rates, and low birth weight rates, and improved their experience with labor and delivery.
EJ is leading the charge to increase economic sustainability of the doula workforce through policy and workforce development.
Expecting Justice and Doula Access Work
Preterm birth rates in San Francisco remain high among Black and Pacific Islander women and birthing people. Doula interventions, focusing on low-income women and birthing people of color, seem to be most successful when doulas identify with the same racial group and community as the woman and/or birthing person who is being cared for.
Doula access is more than providing doula training to the community. It’s ensuring that the training is accessible, and in proximity to those in the community and for it to be sustainable, it must include workforce development. In 2022, Expecting Justice launched its workforce development program to ensure doulas are certified birth workers and provided with mentorship to further develop their professional and business skills.
Doulas are specially trained to support mothers facing discrimination and medical racism during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
More information on Doula Training coming soon.
In 2021 California made a stand against racial inequities in the birthing world with the passing of the SB 65 Momnibus Act! Amongst several measures to combat racism and its effects on maternal and infant outcomes, the Momnibus Act establishes Medi-Cal coverage for doulas. Expecting Justice is playing a key role in the roll out of the bill through our work with the Doula Implementation Working Group.
Learn More HERE
Free Doula Training
We’re so excited to launch that the application for our FREE Winter 2023 Doula Training! For this year, Expecting Justice has partnered with SMC Full Circle Doula to offer Black and African American community members in San Francisco a FREE, full circle doula training! Please find more details below!
- Training dates: January 9th, 2023 – February 9th, 2023
- Location: Virtual. via an online course and weekly zoom meetings
- Online course includes required weekly module work and discussion boards
- Class lectures will be held via Zoom, occurring Wednesday 11:30a-2:30p PST
- Participants should:
- Identify as Black
- Live or work in San Francisco
- Be 18+
Please APPLY HERE
Find a Doula. Access Resources. Connect with your Community.
The journey to finding the perfect doula to support your family starts here!