For many birthing parents, doulas provide additional emotional and physical support during childbirth, education and information about delivery and the delivery experience, pain management assistance and more. Research shows that having a doula as part of the childbirth team has resulted in shorter length of labor, reduced Cesarean sections, reduced epidural use, increased rates of successful breastfeeding and higher levels of satisfaction with birth experiences.
Doulas also play a critical role in providing culturally inclusive care. Our JUST Birth Network is dedicated to centering and uplifting the experience of these parents during birth with culturally congruent doula care. Swedish is committed to increasing the diversity of practicing doulas and to empowering Black, African American, African, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander birthing women and people from across the sex and gender identity spectrum.
Swedish proudly offers the annual Swedish Doula Diversity Scholarship in an effort to aid the professional development of more doulas of color, LGBTQ doulas and doulas from underrepresented groups. The program recently announced this year’s recipients. We asked them to share a little about themselves and their hopes for their futures as doulas.
This year's Doula Diversity Scholarship recipients:
Nyla is an advocate for the land and for community systems that are focused on re-establishing bodily autonomy, health, education and abundance to regain connection to our roots. She is an herbalist, culinary arts nutritionist and womb justice seeker.
Surri chose the doula path to be of service to her community. A mother of 3 children, Surri hopes to provide the support to others that she did not have. She wants to be that support for women as a voice, an ear and a presence so that mothers feel seen, heard and understood. She believes we should always be teachable and want to learn all that we can.
Stephane emigrated to the United States from Jamaica as a child. She plans to utilize this scholarship to further her doula training, achieve her objectives, and give back to her community. With greater diversity among doulas, women who feel marginalized will have the opportunity to feel safer and more comfortable during the birthing process. This will lead to better, healthier births with lower rates of mortality.
Faronda believes that woman needs someone she can trust who will stand up with her and encourage her to be a woman not just a female, see where she is and admit what she knows and what need. As a Black woman of this era and time, Faronda expresses this through supporting sisters where she is needed.
Angela Wasike is a mother of mother of 3 and an immigrant from Nairobi, Kenya. She is ready to begin the honorable practice of advocating for a woman and her family to bring their child into the world in a memorable way. Her understanding of childbirth is that it takes a village, and the presence of a mother's village, community is very vital in her journey in motherhood. She wants to support families and their village in creating the environment they need to bring their children into the world.
If you have Medicaid and want to learn more about our doula services, you can complete a contact form to request a free doula and someone will reach out to you. You can also call us at 206-291-7929 or send us an email if you need more information or help with the referral form.
Childbirth and family education
The JUST Birth Network provides access to culturally congruent childbirth education to support new and growing families. Our priority is to empower, honor and value the experience of Black/African American and Native birthing women, people and families by providing culturally competent care that is safe, compassionate, high-quality and created for us, by us and for our culture. Classes are free to patients who qualify for Medicaid and will be facilitated by a trained educator who understands the experiences of non-white patients and birthing parents. Medicaid and ProviderOne patients, please call 206-386-2502 to register. Registration for the JUST Birth six-week class series is also available on our class registration page.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional’s instructions.
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