© 2019 by SisterWeb

Kindred Birth Companions

Who We are

Kindred Birth Companions is a Doula program created by and for black Doulas working as community birth workers in San Francisco.

 

Mission

Our purpose is to support the black family structure by empowering black families to have safe, memorable, and joyous birthing experiences. Through awareness, education, and one-on-one support we strive to remove “black” as a risk factor for morbidity, boost family resiliency and positive parenting experiences, and create a vibrant community.

 

Philosophy

In the tradition of the Granny Midwives, Kindred Birth Companions normalize and celebrate the birth experiences of black people. We believe birth is sacred and we cultivate a space of dignity, respect and trust with every family we support. Kindred Birth Companions value partnerships and strong relationships with health care professionals and provide non-judgmental support and advocacy before, during, and after birth.

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Marlee-I Mystic is a San Francisco native with a strong holistic and spiritual background. After receiving degrees in Psychology and Communication from UC Davis, Marlee-I returned to the Bay Area to work in her community. Having a special passion for the mother-child relationship, Marlee-I received doula training and supports growing families with prenatal, birth and postpartum care. She is a devoted mother of two daughters and provides services in meditation, sound healing, wellness, and mystic mothering. Her greatest aspiration is to inspire others to practice holistic lifestyles.

It is truly a joy to be working with SisterWeb as the Kindred Doula Coordinator. Joining the staff of this visionary organization affords me the opportunity to truly make a positive impact on my community. As a mother, a black woman, and a doula, I am fully committed to building a network that will improve outcomes for women of color. SisterWeb’s mission and philosophy are in alignment with my purpose and personal goals. Having this opportunity to work with other doulas and health care providers advances my skills as a holistic practitioner and an advocate for birth justice. I look forward to learning, growing and contributing to SisterWeb.

Marlee-I Mystic
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Bria Donaldson was born and raised in San Francisco and is the youngest child of 3. When she was around 2 years old her mother moved them to the Fillmore District where she has called home for the past 23 years.  Since a young age, Bria always felt called to become a health care physician. It wasn’t until her college years where she became more invested in pursuing a career in Women’s Health. It was at Sonoma State where she dove deeper into learning not only about science but also about the discrepancies that plague our healthcare system, especially among women of color. It was during that time where she vowed to devote her life work to making sure women of color and other disadvantaged groups receive access to proper health care. She decided to turn her anger into action and got certified as a labor and postpartum doula in May 2017. She now works at UCSF as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the Obgyn Department, more specifically in the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility sector. 

I feel like my reasoning to be apart of SisterWeb evolves every day. When I first joined SisterWeb I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to grow in my career path but over time it has proven to be much bigger than that. I am in SisterWeb to learn and grow as a spiritual human. I am in SisterWeb to heal from trauma. I am in SisterWeb to learn how to release burdens and cleanse my soul. I am in SisterWeb to feel love. I am in SisterWeb to connect and build relationships with beautiful like-minded individuals. I am in SisterWeb to feel empowered and strong as a black woman. Lastly, I am in SisterWeb to take all that I’ve learned and create something beautiful to give to other Black women so that they can feel loved, empowered, strong, and beautiful as well.  

Bria Donaldson
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My name is Brianne “Brie like the cheese” Taylor and I am a mother of one and passionate about the health and wellbeing of pregnant mothers. My passion for childbirth began with my own experiences. I am comfortable supporting women in a hospital, birthing center or home birth. I believe that birth is a rite of passage that has gotten lost in a highly technical world and it is my dream for all women to be able to fully experience their births in whatever way is most comfortable for them. I believe in the traditions and the lost art of women supporting each other in their transition to motherhood and feel that every woman deserves a great birth team. As a doula I will support you and your partner to ensure a satisfying birth experience by providing evidenced based information about your options, emotional and physical comfort measures, and by supporting your partner in whatever role feels most comfortable for them.

I am apart of SisterWeb because I believe in supporting my community. I strongly believe that no matter the financial situation every birthing person deserves a well informed and positive birth experience. As a SisterWeb doula, I aim to go above and beyond because as a black woman I know we are often told that adequate care is fine and that is not true. We deserve the best care possible and I will stop at nothing to ensure all of our moms are well informed and deliver the healthiest babies possible

Brianne "Brie" Taylor
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I am a wife and mother of two boys.  I believe that childbirth is a natural process providing an instantaneous connection between mother and child.  I assist in ushering in normal and healthy births; these include keeping the mother active as long as possible during labor; helping the mother feel strong enough to endure labor through relaxation, comfort and support; respecting, encouraging and empowering a mother’s ability to birth her own baby; supporting a woman’s birth in a hospital, or birth center setting.

We live in a time where pregnant women find themselves without a partner during pregnancy and birth for many reasons, and for some, this is a personal choice. This does not mean they don't need support, actually the opposite.  I embrace the opportunity to assist and serve SisterWeb to nurture our community sisterhood, to educate and prepare sisters for motherhood, to support self-advocacy, and provide emotional/spiritual support which is absolutely necessary for birth. This journey is preparation for the mom to see herself in the role of a loving parent.

I am honored to serve as a SisterWeb Doula.

Yolanda Carter
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I was born and raised in San Francisco. I love to travel, try new food and meet new people, but most importantly I love to help other people in need of support. Being a doula gives me the opportunity to help mother's as they welcome the blessing of their baby into their lives. I am patient and caring and love babies. I am working towards a degree so that I can become a labor & delivery nurse then midwife. I am honored to be a part of your beautiful journey of motherhood.

I am in SisterWeb because I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else for the rest of my life. I am an aspiring Labor & Delivery nurse and being with SisterWeb will give me more experience to understand what is at the heart of offering birthing families the support they need.  The mentorship SisterWeb provides, including access to experienced midwives, will support my goal of eventually becoming a midwife myself. 

Samantha Judkins
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I understand that having a positive birth experience is crucial for parenthood that begins with joy and confidence.  In supporting mothers throughout their birth journey, I encourage, empower, and educate these women to be confident in remaining in control of their bodies and the lives of their babies. As a young mother and doula, my personal and professional approach to life is dedicated to increasing family resilience and I believe it starts with a positive birth experience. I am passionate about providing non-judgemental and individualized support of family’s choices regarding birth space, intentions, and medical care. To accomplish this I keep an open mind to unique perspectives, abilities, challenges, and needs of laboring mothers and their support team. I am grateful to provide support at any birth, but I especially hold young birthing families of color close to my heart because of my experience as a young birthing mama of color. Respecting the circle of life and death, I am also trained in supporting pregnancy loss and will hold space for anyone who needs it as well. 

 

I became a part of SisterWeb because I wanted to specifically help Black and Pacific Islander women have better birth experiences and health outcomes for themselves and their children. In a world that increasingly puts pressure on family resiliency in these communities, my role in SisterWeb is to change this status quo by providing quality birth support to these women who would otherwise not have the privilege to do so. Being a part of this forward-thinking doula network will ensure that families are prepared to build a solid foundation for their babies starting now and have a community of support to help guide them on their path. My personal hope for working with SisterWeb is to create a model of maternal care that can be adopted all over the country to change the direction we have been misled on. As a birth worker and aspiring midwife, I am proud to be a part of this sisterhood and be the action for change. 

Maile Chand
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I was born and raised in San Francisco. As the oldest of 4, my journey as a doula began after witnessing my youngest sibling come into this world. My mother had a doula present at this birth, and after seeing the impact that she had on my mother’s birth experience, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. At the age of 17, I began training with the International Center for Traditional Childbirth, where I was taught how to provide emotional support, acknowledge the spiritual aspects and traditions of all women, and promote birth as a joyous and positive experience to the families I’m serving. Now after graduating from California State University East Bay, with a degree in Pre-Clinical Sciences, I am ready to continue on this path as a doula in providing support to all women. I aspire to one day become a midwife, and I believe that working as a doula will help me to have a well-rounded approach to caring for women in the future. 

I am so excited to be a part of a community whose beliefs surrounding pregnancy and birth align with my own. I believe that all women, especially women of color, deserve to be supported, heard and loved during this special time. I remember when I was 16 years old, I was supporting my best friend, who is a young mama, while she was going through labor, and I remember her providers started making decisions for her, taking away her power, autonomy and her voice. She told me later, that at some points, she felt like she wasn’t even in the room, because they were talking at her and not with her. I made it my mission to make sure that no woman ever feels this way during the birth of her child, and that as long as I am your doula, you will have a voice, and you will be heard, supported, cared for, and loved. 

Azraa Muhammed
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Hi, I am Brianna Skinner from Dallas, TX. I have called San Francisco home for almost 5 years, and have worked with over 50 families and their children. I have a passion for women, birth and babies, and it is my life’s work to help normalize birth, and nurture the family system.

I chose SisterWeb because as an African American woman myself, I know the struggle of health care. I want to be able to come alongside in the birthing process and advocate for my sisters.

Brianna Skinner