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The Fatherhood classes and the research pilot is a collaboration between the BLACK Wellness and Prosperity Center and the UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative. An indispensable design cycle partner, BWPC contributes and helps test ideas, understanding that validation from the served community is always critical to the development of successful programs, projects, products, and services.

Learn more about BLACK Fatherhood Legacy

AN EVALUATION of a doula-informed pilot program to strengthen paternal involvement during pregnancy among African American men in Fresno, CA


This study will evaluate an adapted fatherhood program to enhance paternal involvement during pregnancy in Fresno, CA. Fresno County has some of the largest racial/ethnic disparities in preterm birth, particularly in the Black/African American community. Exposure to stress has emerged as one modifiable risk factor for preterm birth. Some research indicates that social support, specifically from a partner, can mitigate the deleterious effects of stress by providing additional coping strategies that buffer against the experience of stressful life events. However, to date, there is a paucity of literature describing paternal involvement during pregnancy and factors that may improve it. Further, while recommendations for paternal involvement interventions exist, to our knowledge, none have been implemented and tested in Fresno explicitly for Black men. Our findings will add to the existing literature by highlighting a place-based intervention to improve paternal involvement during pregnancy among Black men. Additionally, this study will offer California stakeholders implementing Perinatal Equity Initiative (PEI) Fatherhood programs evidence to improve program delivery to Black men.


Shantay R. Davies-Balch, Principal Investigator BLACK Wellness & Prosperity Center ​ Bridgette E. Blebu, Postdoctoral Fellow California Preterm Birth Initiative, University of California, San Francisco, Co-Principal Investigator, Lynell Taylor, Co-Investigator Fatherhood Consultant

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