The East Bay Community Birth Support Project

Investigator: Monica McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN
Sponsor: Alameda County Health Care Services Agency

Location(s): United States


The East Bay Community Birth Support Project is a comprehensive nine-month doula training program designed specifically for formerly incarcerated and low-income women of color. Our doula trainees are providing culturally relevant doula care in their own communities.

We received funding from the Alameda County Department of Public Health to test out our idea of a doula training specifically focused on formerly incarcerated and/or low income women of color. The response was overwhelming. Clearly this idea had been brewing with many across our community and the time to get it off the ground had come.

Our first cohort of 16 trainees received 48 hours of in-classroom training and are now receiving one-on-one mentoring as they support their five birth clients. Not only does our program connect trainees with their first five birth clients, but these birth clients are community members who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford doula care. In our first training alone, over 80 low-income families have received doula care from our trainees and their doula mentor.