Jamaa Birth Village means family in the African language of Swahili. Come and go with me, on the humble beginnings and birthing of a village.

birth of jamaa

A Full Ride to Midwifery School

becoming a midwife

When I returned to the states, I moved back to the Ferguson area with my boys, and settled in, not letting that vision leave me. I continued teaching and sharing holistic women’s wellness and birth work education in the St. Louis area while providing Doula care.

I called around to area midwives so that I could complete the apprenticeship model to become a home birth midwife, but I was turned down every call. In 2015, I was accepted to the Midwives College of Utah on a full scholarship and that’s when I knew for certain that I would be that first Black CPM that St. Louis needed. 

Community Organizing

I began to organize the community around Black birth work and hosted the Natural Childbirth Education Circles at the Ferguson Public Library with 2-Doula mentees at the time who supported my vision and wanted to see the birth world change for Black women as well.

We outgrew the library space and moved to my living room in my Ferguson home. It was there in October 2015, that I officially founded what is today known as Jamaa Birth Village, and on October 26th, 2015, the state of Missouri formally recognized Jamaa Birth Village (formerly Community Birth & Wellness Center)

After all of the grassroots organizing, finally, a local Midwife buckled and made space to take me on as the first Black CPM student in St. Louis. I was led to open a clinic in my home, after feeling depleted and exhausted from driving out to the suburbs every day, 40-minutes from my home in a low-income neighborhood, driving past people who needed Midwifery care in our own community, just to be around an all white birth center staff with no cultural congruence training and providing care for white women who didn’t even want my hands taking their blood pressure.

I decided to stop going to the suburbs and to either leave my clinical placement or do my clinicals in my own living room, with women from my own community, being supervised by my precepto. Just as you may be thinking, I did the latter, and planned to expand Jamaa Birth Village from an educational Doula organization to a home Midwifery clinic starting in 2016. 

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Okunsola M. Amadou

Okunsola M. Amadou, a Fulani-American Midwife, is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jamaa Birth Village. Previously known as "Tru", Okunsola is an initiated Olokun and Egbe Priestess in the Isese religion, where she is currently studying as an Iyalorisha. During Okunsolas rites of passage, she received her traditional face markings, representing her nobility and position of royalty in her lineage.

She founded Jamaa Birth Village in 2015, in her Ferguson, MO living room, starting the St. Louis Black Doula movement and growing the St. Louis Black Doula community from 5 to 200+ in 5-years through her Community Doula Training, the city's first Black written, created and taught community-based doula training. In 2018, Okunsola created the St. Louis Doulas of Color Collective, which now boasts a thriving membership of 40+ Black Doulas and is home to Missouri’s first BIPOC Doula directory.

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