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 Healthcare Partners
OUR COMMUNITY DOULA PROGRAM CURRENTLY ACCEPTING CLIENTS
We support all birthing persons, regardless of their ability to pay, 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
SERVICIOS EN ESPANOL
Para recomendar a alguien o inscribirse, complete nuestra Solicitud Para Padres de Servicios de acompañantes durante el parto (Doula) y Lactancia, o llame a Cindy Lopez at (626) 388-2191 ext. 2 o envíe un correo electrónico a: firstname.lastname@example.org
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)
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 doulas work with hard-to-reach populations such as foster teens, incarcerated women or on probation or parole, homeless persons, military families with partners deployed, immigrants who are undocumented, refugees, victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking, unemployed people, persons in addiction recovery, persons with intellectual disabilities, etc. We work on a sliding scale and offer low-cost, sliding scale and volunteer labor and birth and postpartum support. Starting in 2024, we will accept Medi-Cal.
To promote high-quality, family-centered, evidence-based, respectful maternity and newborn care, and improved health outcomes for all childbearing persons and their babies with a special emphasis on communities of color who too often experience poorer birth outcomes in America.
HMHBA’s goal is to improve the birth outcomes of all women and birthing persons belonging to all communities.
We have a special focus on communities of color as they often face poor birth outcomes due to structural racism and implicit biases of healthcare providers. Unfortunately, in America, these disparities exist regardless of socioeconomic status. These poor outcomes can include high rates of cesarean section, maternal mortality, prematurity, infant mortality, and lower rates of breastfeeding.
OUR ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY
Happy Mama Healthy Baby Alliance (HMHBA) was established in 2020, under the Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California, which was founded in 1993. HMHBA is a non-governmental organization located in Los Angeles, California, USA, and Accra, Ghana, West Africa. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity 509(a)(2). In 2020, the organization developed a new strategic plan that includes the integration of the latest evidence-based, trauma-informed maternal and infant mental health information into their trainings and community-based programs. This plan highlights the importance of maternal-parental wellness on child mental and physical health.
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 crucial in addressing maternal deaths and prematurity among BIPOC childbearing persons. You can support our organization by donating, volunteering, or partnering with us to provide funding and support for the education and training of doulas and midwives of color.
Together, we can make a significant impact in reducing preventable childbirth complications and deaths among BIPOC childbearing individuals. Your help is crucial in achieving this goal. Let’s join hands and work towards a safer and healthier future for all families everywhere.
WHO WE ARE
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 board of directors, advisory committee and consultants are mental and perinatal health experts with training and expertise in doula support, midwifery, medicine (pediatrics), nursing, pre- and perinatal psychology, breastfeeding, adult education, social work, obstetrics and gynecology, preventative care, global public health, and health education and promotion.
Our training programs and projects are evidence-based, trauma-informed, celebrate diversity and promote social justice and equity.
PHILSOPHY OF EDUCATION AND PRACTICE
Our courses and protocols 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.
- 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 advocate for a self-growth mindset during pregnancy, which is a unique and special time in an individual’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 by promoting respectful, evidence-based care and informed consent and refusal.
- 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 is not only responsible and ethical but also leads to improved self-esteem, better bonding with babies, and reduced maternal depression.
- Alternative choices in childbirth, such as homebirth, waterbirth, birth centers, and midwife-assisted birth, along with Doula support, are evidence-based solutions that can help address long-standing perinatal health disparities. These options 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 numerous benefits for both mothers and children. It not only provides long-term protection and improvement of maternal and infant health but is also environmentally friendly. Therefore, it is recommended to implement programs that support exclusive breastfeeding.
- 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 massage therapy, Reiki, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbology, have benefits to pregnant women and should be integrated into OB/GYN care.
- Attachment parenting practices are crucial for the normal development of children and have a far-reaching impact on their life course. Therefore, promoting parental-child secure attachment is essential.
Community Doula Program
Our Community Doula program is dedicated to improving the health outcomes of all mothers and infants, celebrating diversity, and promoting social justice in maternal health. We believe that every family deserves a doula, regardless of their ability to pay. By increasing the number of doulas and midwives of color, we can address maternal deaths and prematurity among BIPOC childbearing persons. Together, we can make a significant impact in reducing preventable childbirth complications and deaths among BIPOC childbearing individuals. Join us in working towards a safer and healthier future for all.
Our Community Doula Program, established in 2010, was one of the first to provide doula support specifically for low-income families in Los Angeles County. Our mission is to provide perinatal education and support to mostly low-income, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx pregnant persons who often experience poor birth outcomes compared to White/Caucasian birthing persons. Our team of Doulas reflects the diverse cultures of the communities we serve, including Black-African-American, Latinx, Native American-Indigenous, and LBGTQIA+ individuals. We speak multiple languages, including Spanish, French, Arabic, and various African languages. This program is funded, in part, by United Healthcare. We serve families in Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Orange County and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Our Community-Based Doula Program provides support to all families during childbirth and postpartum care. We believe that every family should have access to a professional childbirth companion, regardless of their income. We offer services on a sliding scale, and no one is turned away for inability to pay. Families who are facing financial hardships can still receive high-quality care by giving a love offering. On the other hand, families who can afford our services are encouraged to “pay it forward” so that another family can receive doula support.
Starting January 2024, we will accept Medi-Cal for doula services.
Doula Apprenticeship Program
A great opportunity for new grad doulas to obtain mentorship by working with more experienced doulas, while learning the “tricks of the trade” and gaining experiences needed for certification. We offer unpaid, volunteer apprenticeships for both birth and postpartum doulas. Contact us for more information.
Venice Family Clinic Doula Program
This program is a partnership with Venice Family Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Clinic in Los Angeles County. Through our partnership, we are providing doula services in Spanish and English to VFC’s Medi-Cal maternity patients. The first partnership of its kind in Los Angeles County, we are making an impact in improving maternal and infant health in Los Angeles County through this innovative program.
Funded by LA Care’s Generating Support for African American Infants and Nurturers (GAAINS) Initiative, this program provides African-American families living in Los Angeles County who have Medi-Cal to receive up to 24-hours of in-home postpartum doula support by African-American Certified Postpartum Doulas. The goal of the program is to lower deaths of preterm infants, eliminate maternal mortality and increase rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the first three months. We also have an African-American father’s support group for expectant fathers and new dads.
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 2024.
For more information contact:
In-Country Director: Mr. F. Kennedy Kattah, PO Box CT 311, Cantonment, Accra, Ghana, West Africa
Phone: +233-244-8015-21 Email
Training & Certification Programs & Staff Development
Our organization has been a leading provider of training for the mental health and social service workforce in Los Angeles County who serve mothers, infants, and children since 2010. We have successfully trained over 350 individuals to work as perinatal health educators, birth and postpartum doulas, and breastfeeding peer counselors. The professionals who attend our trainings have gained enhanced abilities to work effectively with perinatal populations in health and human services settings, as well as in private practice.
Technical Support & Consultation for Organizations
We also provide technical support, consultation, staff training and partnerships with hospitals, health plan HMOs, health departments and ministries of health, community clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and health and human service agencies to integrate community-based doulas, childbirth education, midwifery and lactation support into their perinatal services.
We offer specialized technical support and consultancy to a wide range of healthcare organizations, including non-profit agencies, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), community clinics, physician offices, and maternal-child health programs, as well as to health plans and hospitals. Our services are particularly beneficial for those aiming to initiate Community Doula Programs or seeking assistance with their existing Comprehensive Perinatal Services Programs (CPSP) or Prenatal services. Our support encompasses developing protocols, conducting health education classes, performing chart audits, and providing in-service training for staff.
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 and understanding, bridging the gap between midwifery, doula care and medicine.
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 providing lactation support
- Birth Options Consultations and Pre-Conception Counseling
- Community Doula Program
Professional Training & Certification Programs
- Community Birth Doula Training & Certification Program
- Childbirth Educator Training Certification Program
- Heart and Hands Postpartum Doula Training and Certification
- Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training & Certification
Other Workshops Offered
- 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
- The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Symposium
- The Birthing Justice Forum and Annual Maternal-Child Health Advocate Awards Recognition
- Film screenings & discussions, seminars
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.
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
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