How California’s Black Doulas are Fighting the Maternal Mortality Crisis

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The maternal mortality rate for Black mothers is nearly three times that of white mothers nationwide. These numbers are leading many African-American families to seek the services of doulas, care which has been shown to improve birth outcomes. To mark World Doula Week, we’ll talk with Black doulas about their work, the costs of racism in American healthcare, and about why some are wary of the state of California's efforts to regulate the profession.


Monica McLemore, associate professor of Family Health Care Nursing, UCSF

Chantel Runnels, doula based in Riverside County

Sumayyah Monét Franklin , full spectrum doula; reproductive justice advocate; founder, Sumi's Touch in Oakland