Every Birthing Person Deserves a Doula!
Doulas are trained non-medical professionals who provide physical assistance and emotional support to birthing people and their families. Our doulas support their clients with individualized care, including childbirth preparedness, comfort measures, breastfeeding support, and/or postpartum support. They are trained in cultural competence and provide reassurance and companionship, comfort and encouragement.
Unfortunately, doulas are not covered by most private insurers, and as a result, it may be difficult for many pregnant people, especially black womxn, to afford their services.
We want to make sure that no person gives birth without the support they need, and with your generous donation to the Doula Fund, we can make that vision a reality. Your support will allow us to compensate our doulas fairly and provide doula services to anyone in our communities who needs them.
While our goal is to provide doula services, birth education, and breastfeeding support to birthers and families in the Richmond, VA area, this year we are thinking even bigger! This fund will also allow us to lease office space so that we can host postpartum support group meetings, doula trainings, birth education classes, and much more.
Giving Birth while Black
Childbirth can be an empowering moment for someone who is well prepared and fortunate enough to have a support system in place. But it can be difficult if a family isn't emotionally, physically or mentally prepared. This is where a doula can make a huge difference, and for black womxn that difference could be life-saving.
Black infant mortality is three times higher than white infant mortality in America, and is the worst overall when compared to other races and ethnicities, according to the most recently available CDC data. Comparison of maternal mortality statistics between black and white women shows a similar gap; black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women and have the worst overall mortality rate when compared to other races, at a staggering 42.4 deaths per 100,000 live births.
What is the cause of this disparity? Underlying conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease play a role, but so does systemic racism in the healthcare industry. Racial bias can lead to symptoms being ignored or dismissed until it’s too late.
At Birth in Color RVA, we believe doulas can make a difference—and the experts agree. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in a 2017 statement that “Evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-to-one emotional support provided by support personnel, such as a doula, is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor.”
Welcoming new life into the world should be a cause for celebration, not fear. Help us advocate for a future of safe, stress-free birth with your donation to our fund!
What Is Birth In Color RVA?
Birth In Color RVA is a community network of practitioners engaged in the promotion and practice of culturally centered reproductive health support in and around Richmond, VA. Aligned through membership and purpose, we offer women, families, and communities the space to be supported and affirmed through information and choice. The network directly provides pregnancy, birth, and postpartum support to expecting parents and families; opportunities for skill development for fellow practitioners; and community engagement and advocacy initiatives to address relevant needs.