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Baby Dove and Carol’s Daughter Announce Initiatives in Recognition of Black Maternal Health Week

Baby Dove launches black doula directory; Carol’s Daughter launches ‘Birthing While Black Campaign.’

Baby Dove and Carol’s Daughter have announced initiatives in acknowledgement of Black Maternal Health Week. 
 
Black Maternal Health Week (April 11-17) is an urgent call for action, as Black women in America are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. This can result in pain and loss at a time that is supposed to signify a joyous time in a pregnant woman’s life. 
 
To help close the Black maternal care gap in the US, Baby Dove has partnered with Sista Midwife Productions, a birth advocacy, training and consulting agency, to launch a new Black Doula Directory. The directory will provide access to doulas to improve health outcomes during the birthing experience for new and expecting moms. 
 
Carol's Daughter has launched a “Birthing While Black Campaign” for year three of the Black Maternal Health Initiative, “Love Delivered.” The campaign showcases real-life stories of Black people navigating crisis.

Baby Dove’s Partnership with Sista Midwife Productions 

In Partnership with Sista Midwife Productions, the Black Doula Directory provides access to doulas, (women, typically without formal obstetric training, employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labor) to improve health outcomes during the birthing experience. Research shows that with the support of a doula, moms are two times less likely to experience birth complications, four times less likely to have a low-birth-weight baby and are more likely to experience overall positive health outcomes during the birthing journey.1 The Black Doula Directory comes as Baby Dove's continued commitment to closing the Black maternal care gap in the United States. Black expectant mothers face significant disparities in care before, during and after childbirth. This gap in care has created a world where Black women are dying at three to five times the rate of white women.
 
The “Black Doula Directory” is a national resource offering expectant moms and birthing individuals access to Black doulas nationwide along with doula members from around the world, including Canada, Australia, England, and Germany. To-date, there are over 1,000 Black doulas featured on the directory, with a goal of doubling the list of qualified doulas by April 2024.
 
“At Baby Dove, we believe Black moms have the right to superior care at every step of their journey, which means making quality care accessible and affordable is a top priority in closing the Black maternal care gap in the US,” saud Neha Minj, brand director for Baby Dove. “We are hopeful that the Black Doula Directory, created in partnership with Sista Midwife Productions, will limit barriers to accessing Black doulas who can provide quality care to Black families across the country.”
 
Many Black mothers and birthing families experience discrimination and mistreatment during their birthing journey and postpartum. Baby Dove's partnership with Sista Midwife Productions on the Black Doula Directory was created to provide access to doulas to assist in improving outcomes and amplifying the safety and comfort of the overall experience.
 
“Providing an easier way for Black families to identify and connect with Black doulas who look like them and have similar lived experiences is a critical part of improving Black maternal health outcomes and experiences,” said Founder of Sista Midwife Productions, Nicole Deggins, CNM, MSN, MPH. “Having access to qualified Black doulas, can allow for Black moms and birthing families to be even more empowered to make decisions about their birthing experience and care.”
 
Expecting mothers and birthing individuals can access the Black Doula Directory at BlackDoulaDirectory.com. Doulas who are interested in being listed on the Black Doula Directory can make a request to join the directory online.  
 
In 2021, Baby Dove set out on a mission to close the Black maternal health gap by working towards systemic change to improve the birthing journey for Black moms and their babies. In partnership with Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Baby Dove expanded access to doulas through the Black Birth Equity Fund, which provides Black expectant mothers in the US with immediate financial support so they can access doula services. One-time grants of up to $1,300 help cover the cost of a doula. During its first year, Baby Dove has pledged $250,000 for grants. Since the launch, Baby Dove has invested $650,000 into the Black Birth Equity Fund, which is set to provide approximately 500 moms with financial support for a doula from the start of the initiative.
 
Reinforcing its partnership with organizations at the forefront of maternal justice advocacy, Baby Dove is continuing its partnership with Black Mamas Matter Alliance, the founders of Black Maternal Health Week. Baby Dove will sponsor this year's Black Maternal Health Week. During the virtual conference, Baby Dove will host a panel entitled, “Celebrating the Birthing Journey: The Importance of Doula Care and Introduction of the Black Doula Directory” featuring Angela D. Aina (co-founding executive director of Black Mamas Matter Alliance); Nicole Deggins (founder of Sista Midwife Productions); and Neha Minj (brand director of Baby Dove) as they spotlight the Black Doula Directory, highlight the value of Doula care across the care spectrum, and the vital need for expanded doula access for Black moms and birthing families. 
 
The virtual panel is being held today, April 13, at 2:30 p.m. It can be followed along with national Black Maternal Health Week updates on Instagram via @blackmamasmatter.

Carol’s Daughter’s ‘Birthing While Black Campaign’

In honor of Black Maternal Health Week, Carol's Daughter has announced its “Birthing While Black” campaign, which showcases the real-life stories of Black people navigating the crisis. To kick off the campaign, Black birthing people everywhere are encouraged to share their birthing stories on social to raise awareness around Black Maternal Health, by using the hashtag: #BirthingWhileBlack and tagging @carolsdaughter. Each post will spark a donation to the Mama Glow Foundation that will help fund doula support for families in need.
 
Carol's Daughter, in partnership with the Mama Glow Foundation, is continuing commitment to combat the Black Maternal Health Crisis
 
Advocates such as Married to Medicine's Dr. Jackie and Audra Curry and singer Lion Babe have joined in on the cause to shed light on this important initiative by sharing anecdotes from their own experience and encouraging their followers to do the same. Additional activities under Birthing While Black will be rolling out throughout the year.
 
According to a recent CDC study that examined maternal deaths during pregnancy or within 42 days of pregnancy, Black women had the highest maternal mortality rates across racial and ethnic groups during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 and experienced the largest increase when compared to the year before. In New York City, Black women are eight times more likely than white women to die from a pregnancy-related cause, and nearly three times more likely to experience severe maternal morbidity than white women.
 
“While the recent statistics are alarming and sobering, they only serve to further fuel our drive and commitment to this cause,” said Carol's Daughter Founder Lisa Price. “The work of birthing people should only be the work of giving birth and that experience being as beautiful as it can be. Our work is to advocate for them to have what they deserve.”
 
The health disparities are related to several factors, including access to quality healthcare, underlying chronic diseases, systemic racism and implicit bias. As a result, Love Delivered remains committed to expanding its efforts to empower, support and equip Black birthing people and the greater community to advocate for their health and wellness, and give allies the resources to be well-informed in supporting positive birthing experiences.
 
Since its inception, Love Delivered has engaged with over 190,000 people through events, doula grants, education, and webinars. Additional events and #BirthingWhileBlack activities will take place throughout the year to ensure that Black birthing people and their community have the resources they need to thrive.
 
“This year's theme for Black Maternal Health Week is 'Our Bodies Belong to Us: Restoring Black Autonomy and Joy'! It's so important that as we center our health outcomes that we also lift up joy, celebration and hope,” said Latham Thomas, founder of Mama Glow Foundation.
 
On April 12, Mama Glow hosted a webinar sponsored by Carol's Daughter addressing birth worker burnout. 
 
Additionally, families living in in NYC, Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington DC who are pregnant or recently postpartum will be selected to receive doula services through the grant program.
 
Love Delivered programming includes the following:
 
Access to online resources and maternity experts for expectant and new families
Community building events and forums for expectant and new families and their allies for sharing joyful, inspiring, birthing experiences;
 
Self-care deliveries, including a partnership with the NewYork-Presbyterian Dalio Center for Health Justice that began in 2022. After an initial donation of Carol's Daughter hair products in Obstetrics and Pediatrics at the NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist campus, the health system is planning to distribute an additional 25,000-45,000 kits across the enterprise beginning this fall.

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