The STL 360 Doula Initiative
"A Safer Childbirth Cities Initiative with Merck for Mothers"
The STL 360 Doulas project is a collaborative effort between Jamaa Birth Village & STL Doulas of Color Collective, funded by Merck for Mothers. Evaluation Coordinator Konjit Avent will lead project data and evaluations. Program Coordinator Eleanor Dansberry will support new incoming Doulas and the St. Louis Doulas of Color Collective.
This project seeks to intentionally scale the emerging local doula movement and Jamaa Birth Village’s licensed doula training to ensure long‐term capacity for culturally congruent doula care for Black pregnant people in St. Louis; while fundamentally restructuring the maternal care ecosystem to center the needs of Black St. Louisans during prenatal, perinatal, and postpartum periods. “360 Doulas” refers to both the number of doulas trained and wraparound (360°) support that doulas provide.
Are you a STL area doula? Take the STL Doula Survey today launched by Jamaa Birth Village to support elevating Doulas in the St. Louis region.
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Envisioned Project Outcomes:
This project will integrate 360 local doulas into the maternal health ecosystem and build demand, readiness, and respect for their services. Throughout the three-year grant period, the 360 trained doulas are expected to serve a total of 8,100 pregnant people in the St. Louis region. Investments in health system advocacy, a public health “listen to Black women” campaign, and ongoing support through the Doulas of Color Collective will yield sustainable doula capacity to serve over 21,000 people annually. Ultimately, building this robust network of doulas, paired with bold advocacy work, will allow St. Louis to fundamentally deconstruct, reimagine, and redesign our local maternal health system to respect Black pregnant people, promote healthy pregnancies, and foster positive childbirth experiences.