Doula support is a well-known, evidence-based intervention to alleviate the impacts of racism and inequity perinatally.
Doulas are non-medical professionals who provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after pregnancy.
Studies show that doula care improves outcomes for mothers, largely in part because of the emotional support for the mother and the role doulas play in advocating for their clients.
Research shows that doula-assisted mothers are 75% less likely to have a baby with low birth weight and half as likely to experience a birth complication. Mothers with doulas are also significantly more likely to breastfeed.
The Black Mamas Community Collective currently has two Sister Doulas who are assisting Black mothers. They are currently offering all doula services at no charge to the mothers. They have clients that are both pregnant and postpartum and will continue to meet with their postpartum mothers for a full year after delivery.
Born and raised in Austin, Aphrica is a full time mother of 4 beautiful girls. Prior to becoming a DONA certified doula with Black Mamas ATX, she worked as Breastfeeding Peer Counselor at Mom’s Place. Aphrica is also a certified community health worker and through a grant from ConnectHer, she is currently completing requirements to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). When she is not working with mamas , she is busy attending any number of extra-curricular activities in support of her daughters. Aphrica shares that “If and when have any spare time I like to spend it sleeping, reading or catching up on any missed TV shows.” When speaking of the work she does with BMATX she says, “I am so blessed and proud to be a part of an organization that impacts the lives of mothers and babies in such a meaningful way!”
Klarque is a Doula (DONA), a childbirth educator, and Certified Lactation Counselor. She is also currently a midwifery student and extremely passionate about her work and advocacy for Black women in the healthcare system. Klarque has previously worked with young mothers and coordinated a doula program for a non-profit in Iowa. She has also provided care in Austin to a myriad of mothers from different backgrounds and cultures. Klarque is hoping to positively impact mothers and their birthing experiences, as well as to be a catalyst for change against racial disparities in the healthcare system.
In her free time, Klarque loves to do yoga, experiment in the kitchen with vegan foods, read, spend time with her daughter, experience the joys of traveling, and make divine candles. She is always excited to attend a birth and grow in her knowledge surrounding maternal care, as well as postpartum.
Aisha Ralph has been a birth worker for more than ten years. She’s a doula, midwife, childbirth educator and natural birth advocate. She strongly believes in women’s innate ability to give birth their way, safely and with strength. Aisha is committed to using her both knowledge and experience to positively impact the maternal health of Black women in the USA, the Caribbean and throughout the continent of Africa.
Originally from Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean, she’s been a Texas resident since 2018. Aisha is an avid reader, a writer, and loves to travel. In a former life she was an accountant, auditor, actress and model. She’s a wife, step-mom, sister, auntie and friend.delicate and meaningful way!
Ebony is a mother, an author, trained childbirth Doula (DONA), and community herbalist, who specializes in placenta encapsulation and holistic wellness. She is currently undergoing certification to become a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist (CBS).
Born and raised in Long Beach California, Ebony recently relocated to the Austin area to continue her support and advocacy for black maternal health in Texas. Ebony is passionate about the health and equity of Black & African descendants across all intersects. She approaches birth work with ancestral reverence, at forefront. Her work is deeply rooted in the divine wisdom, legacy, and practices, laid by our foremothers. She believes that ancestral/culturally congruent care is critical to countering systemic racism in birth settings. Ebony hopes to be a part of the change in revitalizing birth support and breaking down barriers that negatively impact the birth and care of black birthing persons and their families.
Outside of birth work, Ebony finds fulfillment spending time with her partner, son and two dogs. She also practices herbalism and loves educating and creating herbal wellness preparations for her community. She enjoys foraging plants, gardening, yoga, trying new foods and other forms of healing modalities.