Maternal mortality rates in the US are worse than in nearly any other developed nation and this crisis disproportionately impacts Black women, who are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues. And it's getting worse. The U.S. is the only nation in the world that has rising maternal mortality rates. In 2017, Serena Williams, an accomplished athlete with access to the United States' best medical care, nearly died giving birth to her daughter. She has since become an outspoken advocate for pursuing a reality in which "every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background [has] a healthy pregnancy and birth." Providing the support of a doula to birthing women before, during, and after delivery is one way that we can pursue this reality, as the constant support of a doula significantly improves outcomes for both mothers and babies.
When I was 10 years old, I witnessed my aunt give birth at home with the help of a midwife and a doula and saw firsthand the power of this support system to make a woman's birth experience a positive and empowering one. I share Serena William's vision of a world in which all women have the birth experiences they want and hope to one day contribute to that vision as a volunteer doula myself through an organization like Chicago Volunteer Doulas.
Chicago Volunteer Doulas (CVD) is a birth justice organization providing comprehensive doula support for vulnerable communities in Chicagoland regardless of families' ability to pay, supporting birthing people in having informed and empowered experiences during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. By donating to CVD, you can provide a birthing woman with the support of a doula who will give her physical support to help her maintain a sense of control, comfort, and confidence; emotional support to help her feel cared for and feel a sense of pride and empowerment after birth; and informational support to help her be knowledgeable about what’s going on throughout the course of labor and her birth options. She will also benefit from her doula advocating for her to be able to ask questions, make decisions, and be heard. Your donation will help move us towards a world in which all women have access to the safe, healthy pregnancy and birth experiences they deserve.