With a new grant initiative, Baby Dove is helping pregnant black women pay for doulas.
According to a report from TODAY, over the next six months, Baby Dove is giving out $1,300 grants to more than 190 Black pregnant women or birthing people through its Black Birth Equity Fund. The company announced the new fund Tuesday, which is supported by a $250,000 donation.
“Doulas provide services that go beyond what’s provided in a health care center or hospital, far beyond what clinicians even have the time to do,” Angela D. Aina, executive director of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, which partnered with Dove on the initiative, said in an interview with TODAY.
So, just what does a doula actually do?
Well, according to Black Enterprise, doulas are trained professionals who support birthing women and people during and after childbirth. They provide mental, emotional, and spiritual support; unlike midwives, doctors, and obstetricians who focus on the medical aspects of birth. Doulas are not usually covered by health insurance, and those who use them have to pay out of pocket.
It has been proven that doulas can lead to better birthing outcomes where in the Black community, studies have proven that Black women are three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women in the U.S. for a number of reasons, including systematic racism.
“This is happening to Black women regardless of their socioeconomic status, background or education,” Aina said. “What we are experiencing is a significant systemic issue with our healthcare system. Black women are experiencing a high amount of what we call institutional racism and sexism, and (having) terrible experiences around maternal care, which some would classify as obstetric violence.”
For the Black community in particular, doulas can and definitely do have a huge positive impact on the birthing journey.
For more information on the Black Birth Equity Fund or to apply, click here.