Series [ Building Tha Table ] has been very intentional with the special guest chosen and today's guest was something instantly I knew would help mindfully build families around the world. This year I had the pleasure to learn about Doula's and the journey of one by the incredible Deidre Coutsoumpos.
Why should we learn about Doulas?
African-American women are 3-4 times more likely to die from childbirth and childbirth related complications than their white counterparts. African-American infants are also dying at a rate 2x white infants, within the first year. Rates of clinical prenatal visits and clinical postpartum visits are lower for African-American mothers and cesarean sections rates are also higher. The leading causes of death among infants are birth defects, preterm delivery, low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and maternal complications during pregnancy.
After reading about how Doula’s greatly impact outcomes for birthing people during labor and birth, Deidre Coutsoumpos attended her first birth as a support person in 2005. In her time serving birthing families she has broadened into her services to include: childbirth education, lactation education, and coordinating and leading doula trainings for marginalized communities. It is her greatest honor walking alongside families as they not only birth their babies, but birth a new part of themselves.
Since the inception of her practice, Deidre's passion and drive has expanded from supporting birthing families to mentoring novice doulas and seasoned birth workers, alike. Deidre is one of the founding members of the Sankofa Birthworkers of the Inland Empire, a collective of Black birthworkers committed to providing education and direct services to families with the purpose of closing the disparity gap for Black birthing families. She is committed to creating spaces where people, especially Black women, are seen, heard and celebrated.
In addition to her work, Deidre deeply enjoys listening to podcasts on long drives, creating adventures with my three lively, inquisitive and energy-filled children and meandering through yarn shops.
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