ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was in Rochester Monday, calling for more funding to eliminate racial bias in maternal care.

The money would go toward training programs and services to reduce the maternal mortality crisis among Black women.

That's something Jacqueline Lindsey knows about firsthand. In 2016, Lindsey was pregnant with her daughter. At just 26 weeks she noticed something was wrong, but when she reached out to her provider, she says she was dismissed.

“Later that night, my water broke,” Lindsey said. "I was able to stay in the hospital for 16 days before delivering her — she was two pounds.”

Later in the postpartum period, Lindsey found herself in the same position.

“When I was having issues, they said that this is normal. It really wasn’t,” she explained. "I was postpartum hemorrhaging, which is one of the maternal morbidity factors.”

Lindsey says Black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth — some from the same situations she was in.

Lindsey works as a program development director for Healthy Baby Network in Rochester. She oversees the Black Doula Collaborative. Through her work, she found that when women have someone who understands and respects them, it can make a huge difference in the labor process.

“Results show that when Black women have a doula, they’re experiencing a reduction in epidural use, preterm delivery and low birth weight, reduction in C-sections,” Lindsey said.

The Black Doula Collaborative wants doulas to become a staple in the hospital system during childbirth, just like a nurse would be.

Healthy Baby Network encourages anyone interested in working with a doula to reach out to them.