Happy Mamas Growing Healthy Babies
COMMUNITY DOULA PROGRAM | DOULA TRAINING & CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS
PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING & CONTINUING EDUCATION WORKSHOPS
Evidence-Based. Trauma-Informed. Celebrating Diversity. Promoting Social Justice.
OUR COMMUNITY DOULA PROGRAM NOW ACCEPTING CLIENTS
To refer someone or enroll, fill out our Parent Request For Doula & Lactation Services, or call (626) 388-2191 ( Ext. 2).
Birth and Postpartum Doula Support Services are offered to all families on a sliding scale rate, Because we believe EVERY Family Deserves A Doula.
Those who have Medi-Cal or are low-income are eligible for FREE services by volunteer Doulas.
During this time of social distancing due to the coronavirus, we are still offering doula support virtually and in-person.
Learn more about the program
Para recomendar a alguien o inscribirse, complete nuestra Solicitud Para Padres de Servicios de acompañantes durante el parto (Doula) y Lactancia, o llame a Lisa Mejia al (213) 379-0544 o envíe un correo electrónico a: Lisa.Mejia@motherbabysupport.net
Download PDF: Rights of Black Birthing Persons
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” (Rob Siltanen)
CRISIS IN U.S. MATERNITY CARE
At this moment, a Black baby is entering this world too small and too soon… increasing the risk of him dying before he turns one.
Black women have the highest rate of cesarean section in the United States. At this moment, a woman is being wheeled into surgery for a repeat C-Section… for this mother, it’s surgery that carries unnecessary risk of dying, leaving a father to manage on his own.
By donating, volunteering or partnering with us, you can equip parents-to-be to create their perfect birthing environment, assisted by a Doula–a professional labor companion. You can end health disparities in maternal and infant health.
You see, the medical care system is failing black women and other women of color. Black, Indigenous/Native, Asian and Latina women are dying during pregnancy and childbirth four to five times as often as White women. Black and Indigenous babies are dying two to three times more often than White babies. Moreover, respectful treatment during maternity care is increasingly recognized as a human rights issue.
WHAT CAN BE DONE
Increasing the number of Black, Indigenous and Latina Doulas and Midwives is the most important thing that can be done to address maternal deaths and prematurity. By donating, volunteering or partnering with our organization, you can help provide funding and support for the education and training of Black, Indigenous and Latina Doulas and Midwives, which means fewer unnecessary complications and deaths from childbirth for BIPOC childbearing persons.
WHO WE ARE
Happy Mama Healthy Baby Alliance (HMHBA) was founded in 2020 ( a DBA of Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California was founded in 1993). HMHBA is a community-based, non-governmental organization located in Los Angeles, California, USA and Accra, Ghana, West Africa. We are 501 (c) (3) non-profit public charity 509 (a) (2), our IRS name is Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California.
HMHBA is focused on improving birth outcomes for all women and birthing persons, with a special emphasis on communities of color who disproportionately experience poor birth outcomes (such as high rates of cesarean section, maternal mortality, prematurity, and infant mortality), due to structural racism and provider implicit biases.
We are diverse, multidisciplinary perinatal and mental health professionals united in a common vision to promote maternal/parental and infant health, improve maternity care quality and access, reduce perinatal health disparities and promote safe motherhood and reduction of preterm births and infant and child mortality. Our training programs and projects are evidence-based, trauma-informed, celebrate diversity and promote social justice.
Our organization has been a training leader of the mental health and social service workforce of Los Angeles servicing mothers, infants and children since 2010. We have trained over 400 persons to work as perinatal health educators, birth and postpartum doulas. Professionals attending our trainings have enhanced abilities to work with perinatal populations.
We also provide technical support, consultation, staff training and partnerships with hospitals, health plans, FQHCs, ministries of health, clinics and non-profit agencies to integrate community-based doulas into their perinatal services.
Our board of directors, advisory committee and consultants are mental and perinatal health experts with training and expertise in doula support, midwifery, nursing, pre- and perinatal psychology, social work, nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, preventative care, global public health, and health education and promotion.
In 2020, we developed a new strategic plan–which our new name reflects (we were formerly The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health), that includes integration of the latest evidence-based, trauma-informed maternal and infant mental health information into our trainings and community-based programs, highlighting the importance of maternal-parental wellness on child mental and physical health.
Our courses and practices are based on psychologist George Engel’s biopsychosocial framework which is touted by leading doctors and health researchers such as Dr. Gabor Mate, MD, Dr. Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D., Dr. Sarah Buckley, MD, and Dr. James McKenna, Ph. D. and Dr. Nils Bergman, MD, among others, as a “new paradigm” in client-centered maternal-infant healthcare delivery.
WHO WE SERVE
We support all birthing persons, regardless of their ability to pay, because we believe EVERY family deserves a Doula. Building trusting relationships with the community members we serve is our utmost priority.
Our Community-Based Doula Program, established in 2010, was one of the first of it’s kind to provide Doula training to BIPOC persons to provide perinatal support for Black, Indigenous and Latinx pregnant persons who experience a disproportionate level of poor birth outcomes compared to Caucasian birthing persons. Our Doulas are culturally diverse and are members of the communities we serve including Black, Latinx, and LBGTQIA+. We speak Spanish, French, and African languages.
To promote high-quality, family-centered, evidence-based, respectful maternity and newborn care, and improved health outcomes for all childbearing persons and their babies.
Our work focuses on addressing health care disparities and to engendering birthing justice for all pregnant women, persons and their infants. As ethnically diverse, multidisciplinary professionals serving pregnant and parenting families, we offer Doula services, childbirth preparation classes, breastfeeding support, and maternal- infant mental health workshops and support groups.
Since 2010, we have been a leader in the movement for Birth Equity in Los Angeles County convening several conferences and events in collaboration with leading birthing justice advocates and organizations through our Birthing Justice Forum and MCH Advocate Awards Ceremony.
We also offer professional training, certification, learning and networking opportunities for mental health and perinatal health professionals.
Our focus areas are:
- Training, Certification and Continuing Education Programs for Professionals
- Childbirth Doula and Postpartum Doula Services
- Breastfeeding Support Services
- Promoting Maternal Mental Health and Infant Mental Health
- Engendering Birthing Justice for All Childbearing Persons
- Amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous and other persons of color and LBGTQIA+ persons about their experiences in maternity care.
- As advocates for families and babies, we seek to ensure that all childbearing persons are treated with dignity and respect during the pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum periods.
- We promote a self-growth approach to pregnancy; which is a special and unique time in a woman’s and a person’s life.
- We believe each pregnant woman or person should be surrounded by a loving and supportive community and each baby should be born into the hands of skilled, compassionate and respectful caregivers.
- We protect the Mother/Baby dyad whose needs are mutually dependent.
- We are reverent of the sacred nature of birth and are inspired by its potential to transform women, relationships, families, and communities.
- We strive to improve birth outcomes for women and infants where perinatal health disparities and inequities exist.
- We aim to improve the quality of maternity and newborn care in all settings.
- We are dedicated to helping families have empowering, satisfying and joyous experiences from conception through gestation, childbirth, and early parenthood.
- Informed consent and refusal in maternity care–not only is it responsible and ethical. Because women who felt they had decision-making power during birth had improved self-esteem and better bonding with their babies and reduced maternal depression.
- Alternative choices in childbirth such as homebirth, waterbirth, birth centers and midwife-assisted birth and Doula support are evidence-based solutions for addressing long-standing perinatal health disparities and should be funded and encouraged for those who are good candidates for this type of care.
- Physiological childbirth is the best approach–it’s natural and normal, and results in healthy outcomes for mothers and infants.
- Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for women and children, it protects and improves maternal and infant health for a lifetime and is also eco-friendly. Programs to support exclusive breastfeeding should be implemented.
- Awareness of spiritual and emotional aspects of birthing is valuable for birthing persons and their care-providers to address in maternity care.
- Historical traumas and injustices in women’s health care among BIPOC persons has a lasting impact on birth outcomes; as such, maternity care providers should understand these influences on birth outcomes and strive to provide respectful and culturally sensitive care for birthing persons.
- Awareness of the influence of the woman’s social environment on pregnancy, birthing, and breastfeeding through a biopsychosocial framework should be modeled in all perinatal programs.
- Partner involvement is essential in maternity care, the birthing process and during the child’s early life. Fathers and partners should be supported as much as mothers and birthing persons.
- Complimentary modalities for pregnancy and childbirth such as acupuncture, chiropractic, herbology, have benefits to pregnant women and should be integrated into OB/GYN care.
- Parental-child attachment is essential for normal development of children and should be promoted through attachment parenting practices.
Community-Based Doula Program
Our Community-Based Doula Program serves all families providing childbirth doula support and postpartum care for parents-to-be and new parents. We believe every family should have access to a professional childbirth companion, regardless of income, no-one is turned away for inability to pay. Our services are offered on a sliding scale. Families experiencing financial hardships can give a love offering and still receive the high-quality of care that clients paying full price receive.
Community Perinatal Health Education
- Childbirth education for expectant parents and Sibling Preparation Classes (Spanish and English).
- Private, One-on-One Childbirth Preparation Classes (Refresher class for experienced parents & first time parents)
- New Mothers’ Support Groups (Spanish & English)
- Fatherhood Support Sessions
- Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga Workshops
- Prenatal, Infant and Postpartum Massage & Couples Workshops
- Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program
- Birth Options Consultations and Pre-Conception Counseling
- Community Doula Program
Professional Training & Certification Programs
- Perinatal Support Specialist Doula Training & Certification Program
- Childbirth Education for Maternal-Child Health Workers
- Heart and Hands Postpartum Doula Training
- Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training
- Becoming a Midwife Consultations
- New Graduate Doula Volunteer Apprenticeship Program
- Internships for high school and college students
- Webinars and Conferences and Symposiums for Perinatal Mental & Physical Health Professionals & Birth Activists
Technical Assistance & Consultation for Healthcare Agencies
We also provide technical assistance and consultation to agencies, community clinics, physician’s offices, maternal-child health programs, health plans, and hospitals who want to establish Community Doula Programs or need help with their existing Comprehensive Perinatal Services Programs (CPSP) or Prenatal services.
Perinatal Professional Networking and Learning Opportunities
We provide networking and CEU learning opportunities for Midwives, Nurses, Physicians, Doulas, Childbirth Educators, and Mental Health Professionals Our events provide opportunities for networking, sharing and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Past events include:
Speakers at our conferences have included leading perinatal professionals:
- Dr. Nicole Warren, CNM, RN, MPH, Ph.D., Nurse-Midwife, Professor of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, expert in Research on Female Genital Cutting
- Dr. Robbie Davis-Floyd, Ph.D., Cultural and Medical Anthropologist, from the University of TX-Austin, author of Birth As An American Rite of Passage
- Dr. Christine Morton, Ph.D., Medical Sociologist from Stanford University, a researcher on Doula Support.
- Dr. Sarah Buckley, MD, researcher and author of Undisturbed Birth, about the hormonal blueprint for safe and satisfying childbirth.
- Dr. Julia Chinyere Oparah, a Sociology researcher at Mills College, author of #BattlingOverBirth, a human rights report and social media campaign based on a five-year-long participatory action research project about Black women’s experiences of pregnancy and childbirth in California.
In this program, birth workers from Africa and America participate in a cross-cultural exchange program and learning collaborative, to experience birth practices in a foreign country, and receive valuable skill-building training. This program is postponed due to COVID-19 and we hope to resume in 2023.
HAPPY MAMA HEALTHY BABY ALLIANCE – OFFICE IN AFRICA
PO Box CT 311
Cantonment, Accra, Ghana, West Africa
OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS: PAST AND PRESENT
If you are an agency with concern for the health of pregnant persons and their infants and want to partner with us, please reach out!
BELIEVE IN OUR MISSION?
SUPPORT OUR WORK – MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION
Healthy Mama Happy Baby Alliance is a DBA of Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California, a public charity. We are exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) 3 of the IRS code. Contributions to our organization are tax-deductible under section 170 of the code. We are qualified to receive tax-deductible requests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the code.
Want to Learn More Before You Donate? Check us out on Guidestar. Our EIN is 95-445-1418
Donate on PayPal or use the QR Code below.