Black Doula | Community Doula for Afro-Americans

Published: Jun 10, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Black Doula at work with Black parents to be

© Image by Depositphotos

We need to speak the uncomfortable truth that women — and especially Black women — are too often not listened to or taken seriously by the health care system, and therefore they are denied the dignity that they deserve,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in 2019. “And we need to speak this truth because today, the United States is 1 of only 13 countries in the world where the rate of maternal mortality is worse than it was 25 years ago. That risk is even higher for Black women, who are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes. These numbers are simply outrageous.

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A Black Doula (who are usually “Black” themselves) are Doulas who are specialized in providing non-medical and non-judgmental informational, educational, physical, emotional, mental, practical, advocacy, and culturally congruent care to Black women during their pregnancy, childbirth, and after birth postpartum period.

In addition, Black Doulas can connect to and use appropriate Black/African ancestral and spiritual practices, including rituals, ceremonies, herbal and homeopathic remedies throughout the reproductive journey of Black women and their families, which makes for better health outcomes and improved feelings of community, self-esteem, and overall wellbeing.

Black Doulas are likewise BIPOC Doulas, and most commonly also Community-Based Doulas serving Black communities. In a broader sense, Black Doulas can be any type of Doula, such as a Massage Doula, Fertility Doula, Abortion Doula, Hospice Doula, Ayurvedic Doula, and so on.

In general, maternal and infant health outcomes vary significantly by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, with Black, Indigenous, and poor communities experiencing higher rates of maternal mortality, preterm birth, and infant mortality than White or wealthy people.

Black Doulas can help reduce maternal and infant mortality and morbidity by serving Black mothers and birth parents, and improve overall health outcomes for both the parent(s) and baby.

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