First 5 Mendocino held a training for Indigenous Doulas with Melissa Brown of Zaagi’idiwin! From around Mendocino County, 14 Indigenous Doulas and 4 allies attended this training at the beautiful Redwood Valley Rancheria Learning Center. Melissa is a Dine and Anishinaabe Midwife, a Registered Midwife and an Indigenous Doula Trainer. Zaagi’idiwin is her training organization. Local Indigenous Cultural Practitioners- Rose Steele and Martina Morgan supported the training by sharing local birth, cultural traditions, and practices of Tribal communities including the Elem, Yokayo, Pomo, and Kashia Band of Pomo. Wait a minute . . . what’s a doula? To learn more about doulas, check out our previous blog posts.  Why Train Indigenous Doulas? For equity and justice! Mendocino County has the 3rd highest percentage population of Indigenous People in California. In the US and in the Mendocino area, more Indigenous babies are born with low birth weight, preterm, without adequate prenatal 
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On January 23rd, along with three dozen other advocates for Positive Parenting, three of our staff at First 5 Mendocino went to the Capitol in Sacramento to advocate for Positive Parenting.
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Doulas and health care providers- including doctors and midwives licensed to practice in California- can support optimal birth and pregnancy outcomes working together. With the new Medi-Cal Benefit covering doula support for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum more families can access doula support. And together doulas and perinatal care providers can make headway improving outcomes and reducing disparities in birth outcomes. 
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For the families that have a regular home visitor, they’ll tell you it’s about the relationship. Parents say they feel seen and heard. Many say their home visitor becomes part of the family.
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The more I learn about home visiting, the more impressed I am. And the more I want to share with you. Because as parents, couldn’t we all use a little more support? Cuanto mas aprendo sobre las visitas domiciliares, mas impresionado estoy, y quiero compartirlo con ustedes. ¿Como padres, no podríamos todos usar un poco de apoyo?
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