© 2019 by SisterWeb

Mentors

Who We Are

SisterWeb Community Doula Mentors provide crucial, on-call support and ongoing mentorship to SisterWeb Doulas so they have the guidance and support needed to provide exceptional care to the communities SisterWeb serves (Latinx, Pacific Islander, and Black/African American birthing families)

Our Mission

To promote equity in access to doula care and to promote financial sustainability and longevity in the birth workforce for doulas from historically un-supported communities in San Francisco, through robust doula education and mentorship support to Latinx/Native, Pacific Islanders, and Black/African American identifying doulas as phenomenal birthworkers. 

Commitment to Sisterweb Doulas

 We believe in each one of SisterWeb’s doulas ability to excel as birth workers, through identifying their strengths, assisting them in identifying their own support systems, modeling boundary setting/communication skills, and creating doula centered goal plans. Our hope is to inspire confident, knowledgeable, and skilled birth workers and that our shared wisdom augments their ability to contribute to their clients feeling of being well supported. We hope to provide strong support between our in-person mentorship sessions, our monthly education workshops, and our 24/7 on-call phone support while doulas attend births. We are dedicated to supporting doulas goals, promoting safe and robust doula care, and providing guidance in navigating the interdisciplinary relationships in birth work. We encourage doulas to provide us with feedback to further strengthen our ability to be mentors. We strive to develop meaningful and long lasting relationships with each doula to deepen the SisterWeb. 

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I am a proud Black and Latina woman. I am a Midwife at San Francisco General Hospital and Mission Neighborhood Health Center and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco. In the eight years prior to being a midwife, I worked in various positions dedicated to the care of pregnant persons and their families. My personal interests include being outdoors, riding my bike around the city, reading, and traveling with my daughter.

 

Utilizing community expertise to provide concordant & dignified doula care by fellow members of the community is an effective way to improve maternal health outcomes. SisterWeb is the dream many birth workers in the community envisioned for years. I am inspired daily by everyone’s grit and commitment to this work. It is refreshing and soul-nourishing to be part of a grassroots web of birth workers who are from the community and for the community and whose values are in line with those of Reproductive Justice. From its inception, SisterWeb members have been action-oriented, constantly molding and growing, and invested in carrying out the Network’s mission and vision. I am a part of SisterWeb because our community deserves it.  

Asmara Gebre
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 Jen began as a doula in 2011 after experiencing her own loss, which led her interest to holistic approaches in maternal health and wellbeing. She soon learned what a doula was and never turned back! Jen believes wholeheartedly in the body's innate wisdom and a mother's right to informed consent and unconditional support throughout her experience. Her love for birth, families and connection fuel her work and have helped her serve 500 families in the Bay Area and internationally at home, birth centers and hospitals. Jen is also a licensed midwife. 

I'm in SW because my heart lies with mothers and babies. They are the future, and the future (generation) is in our hands today. How do you want to make the world a better place? My purpose lies here and this is where I choose to put my privilege to work. 

I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.

-Marielle Franco

Jen Madanat
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Karen Lopez-Acero was born in Colombia - rooted in her native Muisca ancestry - and raised in the Mission district of SF. Karen has been working as a community birth worker and healer for the past 8 years in her NYC community. Recently she moved back home to start her journey to becoming a midwife and nurse practitioner at UCSF. She committed to serving her community as a health provider while integrating the sacred knowledge of ancestral healing medicine. Karen's journey toward health equity and community healing started as a community organizer. Karen has been supporting immigrant workers, womyn of color, urban youth of color, and low-income families over 10 years as an organizer, interpreter, and trainer.  

I am so excited to be part of SisterWeb because I completely believe and am invested in the mission and vision of birth justice! I love mentoring and cultivating the leadership of women in my community to become birth workers. I believe this work is needed and has the potential to transform our communities. I love that SisterWeb acknowledges the power of our cultures to continue to build resiliency and healing! 

Karen Acero-Lopez
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Laura Marina Perez is a home birth midwife (CPM, LM) based in San Francisco who practices throughout the greater Bay Area. She began birth work as a doula and placenta processor over 19 years ago. She is a member of the San Francisco Home Birth Collective and a proud Community Well practitioner. Laura strongly believes women's health must be in women's hands and birth work is a key way for women to be empowered.

 

As a birth worker and midwife, I consider community empowerment to be part of my mandate. We know that there are better pregnancy, birth and postpartum outcomes when women are valued, listened to, respected and well informed of their choices. I want women and families to have the priceless support and education that they are entitled to and that they get with a doula by their side.

Laura Perez
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I was born in Leon, Guanajuato Mexico, and immigrated into the US as a child, settling in San Gabriel, California.  I graduated from UCLA with a Major in Psychobiology and Minors in Chican@ Studies and Public Health. My interest in health disparities, policy, and research lead me to the Public Health Masters at UCLA. I have served as research coordinator in investigations of generational stress and racism on birth outcomes, taught reproductive health education, and lead Education and Mobilization efforts for statewide reproductive health bills with California Latinas for Reproductive Justice.  Throughout those almost 20 years, I have also been a Full Spectrum Doula, infusing afro-indigenous birth support and spirituality with every encounter I’ve supported. I have dedicated my life to diminishing health disparities specifically African American preterm birth and maternal mortality rates as well as serving as a resource for immigrant undocumented communities. Now, in the final phase of my professional development, I’m training to be a Nurse Midwife at UCSF with the hope of making a greater impact on my community clinically and through training the next generation of Community Birthworkers through SisterWeb.

I have dedicated my life to diminishing health disparities specifically African American preterm birth and maternal mortality rates as well as serving as a resource for immigrant undocumented communities.  Now, in the final phase of my professional development, I’m training to be a Nurse Midwife at UCSF with the hope of making a greater impact on my community clinically and through training the next generation of Community Birthworkers through SisterWeb.

Mayra Lizzette Yñiguez
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I have had the pleasure of supporting families as a birth doula for 10 years and can’t imagine doing anything else. In addition to working as a birth doula, I teach Birthing From Within Childbirth classes and have been mentoring new doulas for about 6 years. As a birth worker, I am driven to help change the landscape and institution of birth in our culture to one that empowers birthing people, honors their wisdom, and protects their dignity and agency.

Being part of SisterWeb feels like the most important and valuable chapter of my journey as a birth worker to date. I am deeply honored to be the mentorship coordinator, as well as a mentor within the program. Having a mentor as I began doula work was a crucial part of my ability to show up for families and myself and to continue growing in work that is demanding and transformative at every level; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The fact that mentorship is built into the fabric of SisterWeb really highlights how special this organization really is. I feel grateful to be supporting mentors and doulas in work so aligned with my values of community, dignity and respect for ALL birthing families. I am excited to watch this program grow, to continue learning and to bear witness to the transformation of the birth landscape of our city.

Shannon Padlog
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Bio coming soon!

Deundra Hundon