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OUR STORY

SisterWeb’s Birth Journey

SisterWeb San Francisco Community Doula Network (SisterWeb) was created from a deep commitment and passion to address the dire pregnancy and birth-related healthcare inequities experienced by Black, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and Latina/o/x pregnant and birthing people. SisterWeb was founded as a community doula organization to address these inequities by offering community doula care at no cost to Black, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and Latina/o/x pregnant and birthing people in San Francisco through three different programs: Kindred Birth Companions, M.A.N.A. Pasifika, and Semilla Sagrada.

Founded in fall 2018, SisterWeb was born of the shared vision held by professional birth workers and educators from these same communities. SisterWeb’s vision is to center and uplift Black, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and Latina/o/x families in San Francisco in their reproductive journey to welcome their children with respect, dignity, joy, and pride, leading to thriving families and communities and increased birth equity and justice. SisterWeb works to dismantle racist health care systems, strengthen community resilience, and advance economic justice for birthing families and doulas in San Francisco. SisterWeb is a network of culturally congruent community doulas and birth workers who work to ensure pregnant people from these communities have access to fair and equitable doula care and that their community doulas receive the tools, skills, and mentorship to succeed in careers as professional birth workers. SisterWeb doulas work in cohorts, with 2-3 doulas supporting each client. All doulas are supported by expert doula mentors to enhance their professional development and provide guidance.

Below is a brief description of each of the programs offered by SisterWeb:

 

  • Kindred Birth Companions (KBC): SisterWeb’s Kindred Birth Companion Program was created by and for Black doulas working as community birth workers in San Francisco to support the Black family structure by empowering families to have safe, memorable, and joyous birthing experiences.

  • Semilla Sagrada Compañerxs de Parto: Semilla Sagrada is a direct service program created by Latina/o/x doulas of different nationalities to support Spanish speaking and Latina/o/x families and birth workers in San Francisco.

  • Mentorship Program: Skilled doulas and midwives serve as mentors for SisterWeb’s doulas. The doulas have access to the mentors to review options in working with their clients prenatally, during a labor and birth, as well as postpartum. In addition, the mentors are available to support the doulas with birth work career development and skill building in the SisterWeb birth work core competencies.

  • Workforce Development Program: SisterWeb’s Workforce Development Program provides staff with training opportunities in SisterWeb’s birth-related and professional core competencies. Professional development opportunities include: increasing knowledge and skills necessary for professional and personal growth through a range of academic, career, and birth worker learning opportunities and programs.

In addition, SisterWeb co-founded the Champion Dyad Initiative, which is now one of SisterWeb’s programs. SisterWeb’s Champion Dyad Initiative is being implemented at four San Francisco hospital labor and delivery units and the SF Birth Center in which the vast majority of Black, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and Latina/o/x pregnant people give birth. The Champion Dyad Initiative fosters the support of one or two “champions” at each hospital who partner with a SisterWeb staff member to advance quality improvement to ensure that pregnant and birthing people of color receive fair and equitable treatment during their births and pregnancies.

SisterWeb’s Growth and Development

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Our Goals

  • Nurture a skilled workforce of Community Doulas who see birth work as a viable profession.​

  • SisterWeb clients feel informed and empowered during their birth journey.​

  • Birthing clients of SisterWeb receive high quality culturally congruent doula care which helps them achieve their own birth goals.​

  • Healthcare systems in San Francisco are coordinating care with SisterWeb and working to address racial inequities in birth.​

  • San Francisco’s Black/Latinx/Pacific Islander communities are aware of community doulas and their benefit to family success.

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