RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — A new hotline in three counties aims to support Black moms from pregnancy to parenting.
The Frontline Doulas hotline allows 200 Black individuals — pregnant and postpartum — in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties to connect to community doulas for free, 50-minute emotional support phone calls, video calls, or text conversations.
What You Need To Know
- A new hotline in three counties aims to support Black moms from pregnancy to parenting
- The Frontline Doulas hotline allows locals to connect to a community doula for a free emotional support phone call
- It’s an effort to combat high maternal and infant death rates in the Black community
- Pregnant and postpartum women who want non-emergency support can text ‘doulahelp’ to 31996
It’s an effort to combat high maternal and infant death rates in the Black community, which are at risk of increasing due to the pandemic. Moms receive a one-on-one session with a doula, who is trained to help with birth.
Birth doula Jennifer Evans has answered a handful of calls so far and says women are reaching out with feelings of isolation. She can give them non-medical advice.
“Appointments are different now," said Evans. "Their partners aren’t able to go with them, so their partners don’t really connect the same way they used to. Some women have issues with their provider not listening, so we go over ways to advocate for themselves.”
Connection is one of the reasons Natalie Champion called the hotline.
“When I found out I was pregnant, I like was freaking out, honestly, because I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m pregnant during a pandemic.’” said Champion, who added that she is very aware of the risks many Black women face at the hospital, like unnecessary medical interventions.
Talking to Evans helped Champion feel less scared about the birth of her third child.
“Having to hope and pray you survive pregnancy, labor, delivery, and beyond…that’s something that I’m very keenly aware of,” said Champion. “Knowing I was able to speak to another Black woman who also gets that, who knows that very intimately and who can tell me the things that will help me navigate within these systems that don’t always serve Black women or don’t always recognize the unique concerns Black women have...she was able to give me the tools I need.”
The hotline is available until November 15. Pregnant and postpartum women who want non-emergency support can text ‘doulahelp’ to 31996.
Frontline Doulas is produced by Diversity Uplifts Inc. and is funded by a grant from Health Net.