Black Mamas Glowing

How We Started: In collaboration with Maternal Mental Health Now, we offered six series of Safe & Sacred Pregnancy: Black Mamas Glowing Through COVID-19™ for pregnant and birthing people residing or working in Los Angeles County. Participants can register independently or with a support person. We highly encourage the presence of dads as the support person. Other support people may include: spouse, partner, parent, sibling, grandparent, friend, midwife, doula or anyone else that will be in the room during your labor and delivery.

Mental health practitioners and Doulas were welcome as long as they were providing direct support to the birthing person. Each series of Safe & Sacred Pregnancy consisted of 4 meetings. All meetings were virtual.

Link to Maternal Mental Health Now

Black Mamas Glowing: Pregnancy Peer Support Group Experience

Black Mamas Glowing TM is a 4-week session focused on perinatal mental health with Black birthing families and their support persons (i.e., spouses, partners, parents, siblings, grandparents, friend, midwife doula, birth workers and anyone else who would be in the room during labor and delivery). Our aim is to reduce isolation and build community with Black pregnant women and birthing persons and introduce them to the African American Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM) network throughout Los Angeles County. i.D.R.E.A.M. for Racial Health Equity's community-led interventions were established and anchored as the former Pasadena Birthing Project (1994-2011), also known as the 34th Stop on the Underground Railroad for New Life. The Birthing Project USA Sister Friend model teamed community women with pregnant women through their babies first birthday with the goal to improve Black birth outcomes. Our greatest learning came from wrapping around peer support throughout the perinatal journey. We served as early adopters of hospital quality improvement advocacy for the Black patient experience. Our Sister Friend Regional Network provided non-medical support and community resources as cultural brokers, patient navigators, doulas and birth compassions. We became a village of sisters, aunties, grandmothers and extended family members, and integrated a safety net for the Black perinatal workforce. We reimagined a system of care outside of the hospital for, by and with Black women that encouraged sisters serving sisters and motherhood that now represents our 27-year storied mission.

We acquired a new deliverable in collaboration with Maternal Mental Health NOW (2018-2021) and led the marketing and outreach for a curriculum formerly known as Mind and Body Circles. We adapted the framework for a virtual audience, hosted focus groups with 13 members of the Black perinatal workforce and drew upon our history for Black pregnant women and birthing families to thrive through the pandemic. Our signature photo features the friendship of 4 Black pregnant women who delivered healthy babies in the summer of 2020. Participants registered independently or with a support person. We highly encouraged the presence of dads as the support person.

In 2022-2023, we scaled up the pregnancy peer support program with a generous sponsorship from the Providence Medical Foundation. We will serve four Providence Hospital regions including the San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys: the Westside/South Los Angeles/South Bay; Orange County; and the High Desert/San Bernardino County. Our collaboration includes physicians, medical groups, federally-qualified health clinics and with community advocates serving Black birthing families.

If you or someone you know would benefit from our Black-led pregnancy peer support group experience; email Ellen Branch to register.

2022 Remaining Cohorts

August Cohort begins August 9th, 2022 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time

September Cohort begins September 6th, 2022 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time

October Cohort begins October 4th, 2022 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time

November Cohort begins November 8th, 2022 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time

2023 Cohorts

January Cohort begins January 10th, 2023 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time

February Cohort begins February 7th, 2023 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time

March Cohort begins March 7th, 2023 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time