Carla Clark

Carla Clark

Doula

Happy Mama Healthy Baby Community Doula

I was raised in Los Angeles County in Pomona, CA. I am a mother of three girls and am well aware of the necessity of support during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. My desire to work with children and families initiated my career in social work. Always wanting a more personal relationship with families while exploring birthing and babies, I decided to take a different career route as a full circle doula. A full circle doula is able to provide both pregnancy, labor and postpartum doula services for a “full circle” of doula care. I completed my full circle doula training with Shafia Monroe Consulting. The Full Circle Doula Training® is an intensive 30-hour (3.5 days) prenatal, labor and postpartum doula training course. This distinctive training is built on the legacy of the 20th century African American Midwife, who provided holistic perinatal services with birth and postpartum rituals and mothering skills (Wilkie, 2003) building confidence and leadership abilities within families to improve birth outcomes and increase breastfeeding duration rates. SMCs model of care is to improve birth outcomes by reducing prematurity, increasing breastfeeding rates and duration, reducing infant mortality and recognizing postpartum depression. SMC believes that every pregnant woman deserves a SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companion to support them throughout the entire pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience. I mirror this model of care in in my practice as a doula.
 

In addition to my work as a doula, I became a certified lactation education specialist through Breastfeed LA’s 95-hour program, and am now currently on the pathway to becoming an IBCLC, or an international board-certified lactation consultant. This is critical because there are no statistics on how many Black international board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs) there are in the United States. The membership association doesn’t compile that information and the registering body (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners) fails to provide this information as well. I believe that increasing the amount of Black IBCLC support will increase the rates of Black women’s breastfeeding outcomes, which is so crucial to their baby’s overall health in life. With my first child, I had no support with breastfeeding, and overcoming the struggles alone, I longed to help mothers such as myself. I never knew that a career in breastfeeding was actually possible.
 
I obtained a master’s degree in social work from California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) in 2014. I have served on several committees, including the AAIMM CAT (African-American Infant Maternal and Mortality Community Action Team) for San Gabriel Valley as a planning member. In addition, I have done volunteer work for several organizations, including ‘Alternate Avenues’, where I assisted with the intake of incoming pregnant patients for medical services.
 
I am currently a student midwife while continuing to serve for several different volunteer doula organization. I love everything about birth and babies and am so honored when I am able to join a mother in this life changing journey.
 
I am a firm believer in women-led births and that with the proper support and education, a mother can have the birthing experience she so desires while listening to her intuition. It’s your body and your birth!