New Indigenous Doulas Train to Diversify Support for Mendocino Families

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 

Strong Starts – World Doula Week 2024

We are big fans of doulas. There are more than a few reasons why. On our team, we have personal experience having doulas attend our own births and some of us even trained and worked as doulas. There’s also the science. It tells us doulas help families come out stronger. What’s a doula? Centered around the birthing family, doulas are important partners in the birth care team, along with nurses, midwives, and doctors. Here’s a little bit of what doulas do: Doulas and the Birth Team Some people don’t realize this- that doulas are not health care providers. They are helpers! Doulas focus on care, support, and advocacy. And they are important part of the birth team! Doulas share hours together with families during pregnancy. They stay with families through the whole labor while nurses, midwives and doctors in the hospital usually must divide time between families to ensure everyone gets 

Medi-Cal Benefit for Doulas and Healthcare Providers 

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. 

What Happens When You have a Doula

The Medi-Cal Doula Benefit
A new Medi-Cal doula benefit includes support during pregnancy, labor and birth, and for after baby arrives. They can help with questions about baby care, breastfeeding and lactation, support personal care by giving you a chance to shower, nap or otherwise take care of yourself.

An Essential Part of the Birth Team

Doulas get to know your family and your specific needs and priorities. They know pregnancy and birth through training, education, and the experience they have with birthing families. They also know what a big impact how we feel during labor and birth has on our long-term well-being.

It’s HERE! The Little Libros Book Nook!

We have a new Little Library – The Little Libros Book Nook! Come find a good book to read with your child! Or leave a favorite here for someone else to enjoy!

First 5 Mendocino – We Are Here For You!

At First 5 Mendocino we provide direct family support, offering parenting classes, resiliency workshops, and so much more!

Mendocino County – Coastal Resources for Parents

Mendocino Coast Clinics welcomes everyone; you’re invited to come in and see for yourself! In the meantime, check out these great resources on their website!

First 5 California

First 5 California has an incredible website with resources, videos, articles, and activities you can do with your child. Check it out!