BLACK DOULA NETWORK
ABOUT THE BLACK DOULA NETWORK
The BLACK Doula Network (BDN) is a social enterprise designed to address the doula provider deficit, build the missing backbone infrastructure needed to support and sustain doulas, and provide birthing persons with access to healthcare services demonstrated to decrease health disparities.
BLACK DOULA TRAINING
The BLACK Doula training program is designed for those who want to make a difference in Fresno’s Black community through doula work. Doulas trained in our program will be equipped to provide culturally responsive non-medical support to pregnant persons and their families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum (after delivery period).
Read our brochure HERE
Fresno is facing a Black maternal and child health and a healthcare infrastructure crisis. Black women in Fresno experience preterm birth at a rate of 13.5%, whereas this rate among white women is 9%.
Black women are six times more likely to die from a preventable pregnancy related cause compared to white women. Black babies die at more than three times the rate of white babies. Black women in Fresno are more likely to live in unfinished neighborhoods and experience higher rates of comorbidities. Increased access to doulas may result in positive birthing experiences, more full-term pregnancies, and healthier babies.
Reimbursement of doula services for Medi-Cal patients:
California recently passed legislation (SB 65 Momnibus), a game-changer in transforming birth outcomes for Black communities, as it provides reimbursement of doula services for Medi-Cal patients.
Starting on 1/1/2023, Medi-Cal covers full spectrum doula care, as preventive services. Doula services are aimed at preventing perinatal complications and improving health outcomes for birthing parents and infants.
Doulas serving Medi-Cal beneficiaries provide person-centered, culturally competent care that supports the racial, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversity of beneficiaries while adhering to evidence-based best practices.
The BLACK Doula Network is a multi-faceted approach, which includes:
Development of a high-quality, equity-centered, doula training curriculum
A plan to integrate trained doulas into the hospital and healthcare system to ensure continuum of care
An administrative backbone network, that will function similar to an Independent Provider Association (IPA), ensuring that doulas have the legal and administrative support they need.
As a flagship initiative for race equity, the Network will lead to system changes and serve as a model for measurable outcomes and effective public policies.
Maternal mortality and morbidity rates and pregnancy-related health inequalities - are disproportionately experienced among Black Birthing Persons and Babies in California.
In order to help address this crisis, the BLACK Doula Consortium was designed with the following goals in mind:
1. Increase access to information and resources, and target key stakeholders
2. Amplify the voices of Black Maternal Health experts
3. Advocate for Black-centered public health
Read more about the consortium and our goals HERE.