Community Birth Advocates and doulas are trained professionals empowered to galvanize and organize communities and to provide: comprehensive perinatal education; labor and postpartum support for pregnant individuals and their families; and breastfeeding education and newborn care support. They also serve as advocates within their own community–organizing to promote dialogue that bridges the gap between community, birth partners and organizations, and professionals within the maternity care system. Our aim is to ensure that all people and families have access to safe, dignified, and culturally appropriate care geared toward elevating the platforms of health equity, reproductive justice, and all stages of maternal health.
This professional doula certification gives community birth workers the tools and the education they need to serve families in their own communities, from pregnancy through the childbearing year and beyond. Our training also addresses:
- the historical and current landscape of maternal health disparities, both locally and globally
- issues of health equity in the US and globally
- the racialization of pregnancy and birth
- the affects of trauma in maternal health on individuals and communities
- the history of obstetrical violence
- structural and systemic oppression
- the application of Respectful Maternity Care
- tools for community organizing for reproductive justice
Our model takes into account the complexities faced by community birth workers and those we serve each and everyday. Our training expands the doula framework beyond just the perinatal, birth and postpartum periods to a model that connects global maternal health advocacy and direct engagement with the communities in which we live.
Village Birth International (VBI) Community Birth Advocacy and Doula Training promotes the interconnectivity between community birth advocates and doulas, agencies, institutions, policy makers, and maternal health and medical professionals. Our overarching goal is to improve birth outcomes and work toward eliminating antenatal and postnatal disparities present in today’s maternity system. As outlined by the Global Maternal Newborn Health 2015 Conference and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. organizing throughout cities in the US, community birth advocacy and doula trainings help to ensure that all families have access to reproductive justice and health advocacy.