Hey Fam!

This week is Black Maternal Health Week (April 11th-17th). This is a time to call attention to the devastating maternal health gap in the U.S., and to advocate for policy solutions to the systemic inequities that lead to adverse health outcomes for Black birthing people. I think it’s important to highlight those who are often left out of this conversation. The Black birthing folks who are most often marginalized when it comes to health care, reproductive care, and most in need of reproductive health care justice; immigrant and incarcerated Black women, Black queer femmes, Black trans folks, visibly disabled Black birthing people, and Black nonbinary birthing individuals. It’s time that we are inclusive of all Black birthing bodies when we discuss the disparity in birth and postpartum outcomes for Black folks in our health system.

While the presence of, advocacy, and education from doulas can help improve birth and postpartum outcomes for Black Birthing Individuals, we must also look at how the system fails to make way for these vital systems of support. We’re seeing more legislation working to sponsor doulas and doula trainings but it is important to delve into the details. Most of these proposed bills support agencies and certifying bodies that do not and have not worked within and towards the equitable treatment of Black communities and communities of color. Ahem…DONA.. ahem (and some others). The monetary compensation offered by some major insurance companies is not equitable and does not provide a livable wage, often only covering half of what doulas typically charge on average. We still have a long way to go, and for some folks, this is the first time they are learning about this. I encourage you to donate to the Black Doula Project and look into the work being done by the National Black Doula Association and Black Mamas Matter. And as always, support your local Black Doula, *raises hand*. If you know a family who could benefit from in-person or virtual birth/postpartum support, head to my website to book a consultation. I’d love to help develop a customized support plan!

With Gratitude, 

Luna Doula Jo 

Click these links for more information on Black Maternal Health Week, and Health DisparitiesDoula LegislationDoula Insurance Coverage, and orgs you can support, Black Doula Project and National Black Doulas Association