Birthing Families in Los Angeles County, California- Receive the Gold Standard of Care Through SBCC Community-Based Doula Program

Published June 20, 2024 under Blog

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SBCC has successfully received national Accreditation through HealthConnect One’s (HC One) Community-Based Doula Accreditation Program.

Wilmington, California- SBCC has successfully received national Accreditation through HealthConnect One’s (HC One) Community-Based Doula Accreditation Program. SBCC (Strength-Based Change Community) underwent a rigorous review process with HealthConnect One’s accreditation team reviewing the implementation of the organization’s existing community-based doula program to ensure high-quality implementation. Community-based doulas (CBD) play an important role in helping decrease maternal and infant mortality rates and increase lactation rates. These women are trained to provide peer support to families in their communities throughout pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, and the early parenting phase. 

 Twylla Dillion, President and CEO of HealthConnect One said, “Organizations like SBCC that are accredited and trained through us provide the gold standard of care for moms and their families.”

Currently, SBCC  is the first and only accredited community-based doula program in Southern California. SBCC community-based doulas are employed and work full-time to serve families in Los Angeles County. 

 Since April 2010, SBCC has been a replication site that provides no-cost doula support to families in the community using the HC One Community-Based Doula model of care. What started as a pilot program is now a thriving support system offered in multiple communities throughout the county. 

“For over a decade, HealthConnect One has been a cornerstone in our efforts to support families. In today’s landscape, marked by the concerning maternal and infant mortality rates, our partnership is more vital than ever. Thanks to our collaboration, our doulas are empowered to provide invaluable support to families, ensuring a lasting impact.” said Colleen Mooney,  Executive Director of SBCC.

“The partnership between Health Connect One and SBCC is truly significant. It represents a powerful collaboration that transforms lives, uplifts communities, and brings about positive change” shared Selene Ketchum, Lead Doula of SBCC.

The SBCC  accreditation from HealthConnect One comes at a time when maternal and infant mortality is skyrocketing in the BIPOC community due to racial disparities in the healthcare system.  Recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that pregnancy mortality increased from “15.0 to 17.0 for pregnancy-related deaths for every 100,000 live births.  African-American and Indigenous/Alaskan native women who are birthing a baby are two or three times more likely than white-counter parts to be affected by maternal mortality and the risk increases for these women if they are over 30 years old.”  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

The accreditation means that SBCC is providing mothers in Los Angeles County the highest quality care.  An SBCC  Parent stated, “The program is like having the wisdom of mothers and the compassion of friends, just imagine what parenting skills that could ignite in others”.  

Their trained community-based doulas provide educational and emotional support to each family with home visits and birth support. SBCC  provides community-based doula care services until the infant is 6 months old and then the family is transitioned to other programs in SBCC.  SBCC has trained 30 community-based doulas since 2010.  They have served thousands of families since the inception of their program and supported more than 850  births with CBD support since 2010.

 CBD current outcomes from 2022:

  • Breastfeeding Initiation at birth: 98%
  • Not Breastfeeding at Birth:  2%
  • C-section 3%

The transformative effect of doulas in communities has been spotlighted in https://healthconnectone.org/publication/read-the-perinatal-revolution-report-2014/ in 2014. The study found that 87 percent of community-based doula clients were breastfeeding at six weeks, compared with 61 percent of a similar sample; 72 percent were still at it when their babies were three months old, compared with 48 percent of the broader sample.

“HC One’s Community-Based Doula Accreditation Program (CBDAP) is designed to help organizations implement a high-quality Community-Based Doula program,”  said Jacqueline Lambert, HC One CBD Program Manager. The goal of accreditation is to build greater fidelity to HC One’s evidence-based community-based doula model; therefore, improving the quality of service and outcomes for program participants.

 HC One’s accreditation sites include Open Arms Perinatal Services in Washington State and Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA)  in Detroit, MI, Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative in Tulsa Oklahoma, BirthMatters in South Carolina, and Global Perinatal Service in Burien Washington, all to provide mothers with the quality care they deserve. This unique, innovative program model works because it provides extended, intensive support to families throughout pregnancy, during labor and childbirth, and into the early months of parenting in communities that face high risks of negative birth and developmental outcomes.  HC One’s program model was profiled in the 2018 Home Visiting Yearbook. The publication compiles early childhood home visiting key data and presents a comprehensive picture available at the national and state levels.

Upon accreditation with HC One, SBCC’s Community-Based Doula Program is recognized publicly as setting the standards for high-quality doula care. Accredited organizations are positioned to attract the attention of funding sources who are committed to high-quality implementation of Community-Based Doula Programs nationwide, and SBCC will gain additional exposure as a leader in their field through training and collaborative opportunities with HC One.

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About HealthConnect One – HealthConnect One is a nationally recognized nonprofit training and technical assistance agency that uses innovative, community-centered approaches to support direct-service providers in promoting the health of mothers, infants, and birthing families. Operating with the awareness that birth equity is fundamental to racial equity, HealthConnect One collaborates with community-based organizations and advocates, to train community health workers, connect community-based initiatives, and mobilize diverse stakeholders to build policies and programs that improve birth equity. Learn more about our work here: https://healthconnectone.org/about-us/.

About SBCC – At SBCC, we believe that every expecting parent deserves the support of a doula, and our Community-Based Doulas offer their services at no cost. Targeting marginalized communities with limited access to support, our doulas’ journey extends beyond birth into the postpartum period. In these resource-scarce areas where access to care is limited, they play a pivotal role in enhancing maternal and infant health outcomes. 

 SBCC is focused on reducing racial inequities in lactation and labor support for birthing families.  Since 2010 SBCC has carried out its mission by way of direct service, training/education  & advocacy. Learn more….www.sbcc.community/ventures/community-doulas 

Media Contacts: Gabrielle Grimes, HC One’s Digital Communications Manager, ggrimes@healthconnectone.org and Colleen Mooney SBCC, Executive Director.

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