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Black Women in South L.A. Find New Voice Thanks to Local Birthing Program

Date: 08/04/20

Last month, Health Net and the Cherished Futures for Black Moms and Babies hosted its third workshop. The virtual workshop, "Centering Health Equity and Creating a Regional Oasis of Care," focused on birth inequities among Black moms in South L.A. and Antelope Valley.

The pilot program's goal is to reduce the infant mortality rate among Black moms. By design, the pilot includes partners across the healthcare industry. These include:

  • Five local hospitals
  • Public health officials
  • Certified doulas
  • Black community leaders
  • Health plans

Doulas from local Black communities are key to the pilot. What is a doula? They are people trained to "provide advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth."1 In fact, local Black women serve in many advisory roles in the pilot. These include:

  • Clinicians
  • Researchers
  • CEO’s, Presidents and Directors of local community based organizations

These women share their professional skills and knowledge about infant loss, preterm births and biased care. The program pairs these advisors with hospital teams to help create community-informed action plans.

The workshop kicked-off with keynote speaker Sen. Holly Mitchell and included partner organizations:

Sen. Mitchell spoke about her years of fighting to protect Black moms and babies while recognizing the efforts of the pilot program.

"Behind each statistic is a partner, a family in pain, kids who have lost their mom and kids who will need our help," said Sen. Mitchell. "It will take all of us to close the gap and pave the path to equity in the future. We have to ensure dignified, thorough and unbiased prenatal care for all women. It's our right and for Black women, our very lives depend on it."

Learn more about Cherished Futures for Black Moms and Babies.


Last Updated: 04/16/2021