On June 2023, Jaya Pruitt and Fatima Oliver, Kindred Birth Companions (KBC) Community Doulas, initiated prenatal and postpartum groups for Black moms in San Francisco.
Jaya shares that starting these support groups had been a passion project of hers since she began her journey with SisterWeb two years ago. "The prospect of building a strong and supportive community fills me with excitement and purpose. Hearing our members express their enthusiasm to meet and connect reaffirms my unwavering drive to bring this group to life."
The goals of these groups were:
To continue to building a strong relationship with community and doulas while gaining a better understanding of how to serve and show up for clients and the community.
To impart awareness and education to remove “Black” as a risk factor for morbidity, boost family resiliency, mitigate the risk of postpartum depression, increase positive parenting experiences, and create a vibrant community.
To provide a safe space where mothers and birthing people can fellowship with each other, build community, build connections, speak openly about their experiences and concerns, learn from KBC doulas, and get questions answered.
Support group participants described that these spaces provided the chance for everyone to speak; the opportunity to share embarrassing moments and personal experiences; and fostered a sense of knowing that they're not alone. Participants explained that all the information they received from the doulas is helpful and insightful, and presented within a relatable environment.
These spaces have not only created a community on screen. Many moms have spent time together offline, taking recommendations on stroller friendly parks from Jaya and Fatima.
The prenatal and postpartum support groups concluded on August 2023, with in-person sessions. Though these groups are over, the connections and wisdom will last forever. SisterWeb looks forward to more support groups from all our doula programs in the future!
In the video below, KBC hosts the last Prenatal Support Group session. They had everything from presentations about contractions, birth playlists, and labor positions to foot soaks, affirmation cards, and oracles.
In the final Postpartum Support Group, moms experienced a closing ceremony, made intentions, learned about blood pressure, and shared birth stories. Watch the video below to check it out!
This blog post was written by Sofía Carbone, SisterWeb's Communications Coordinator, with support and guidance from Jaya. Thank you Jaya for your wisdom and KBC for making these groups available to our community!