Sacred Seeds Black Birthworker Collective of Colorado
Black Birthworkers are Saving Black Lives
Through the Sacred Seeds Black Birthworker Collective of Colorado, birthworkers:
- Connect with Black families who seek birth worker care.
- Share culturally reflective information and approaches with Black families to increase Black Breastfeeding, honor and save Black lives, and end the disparities in Black maternal and infant mortality.
- Increase community awareness regarding the realities of Black parents, infants, and families.
- Receive support in accessing and completing continuing education opportunities aligned with holistic approaches to the reproductive health needs of Black birthing people.
- Cultivate a network of communal support while receiving opportunities to prioritize their own healing and well-being.
A core component of our work is increasing Black breastfeeding rates via education, advocacy, and representation. Through the “Black Breastfeeding – The HEALTHY Chocolate Milk” program, birthworkers support Black Women through the full spectrum of the breastfeeding experience – the questions, fears, joys, stress, celebration, peace, health and wellness for birthing person and baby. Our breastfeeding work includes:
- Social media campaigns.
- Promotional “Black Breastfeeding – The HEALTHY Chocolate Milk” apparel (sold in our online store).
- Lactation professional development for doulas.
- Educational efforts i.e. virtual panel discussions promoting Black breastfeeding.
- Brochures promoting Black breastfeeding.
Inspired by reproductive justice framework, we affirm that Black Women’s health care must protect our right to raise children in safe and healthy environments, affirm our pleasure and sexuality, honor the decision not to become a parent, and support planned and healthy pregnancies.
Specifically, our work includes:
- Journeying with Black Women who are deciding whether to have an abortion.
- Working with state legislators to develop legislation that expands Black Women’s access to reproductive health care including abortion.
- Engaging in relationship-building conversations in Black communities toward ending stigma and shame concerning abortion.
What is a birthworker?
Sacred Seeds birthworkers are highly trained and skilled non-medical professionals who provide physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and informational support. Our birthworkers are equipped to provide clients with culturally relevant, holistic care and advocacy. The expertise of our birthworkers includes fertility, prenatal, labor/birth, postpartum, nutrition, energy work, lactation counseling, massage therapy, maternal mental health, bereavement, abortion, and end of life care.
Benefits of birthworker support include:
- Emotional reassurance
- Prenatal wellness support
- Physical comfort measures
- Evidence-based information and advocacy
- Facilitation of communication between you and your providers
- Guidance and support in strengthening connection with loved ones
- Decrease in use of pain-relief medications
- Decrease in length of labor
- Decrease in incidence of C-section
- Decrease in negative childbirth experience
- Help with identity and managing mental health
- Practical postnatal support
- Feeding support, including higher rate of breastfeeding
Birth workers are highly trained and skilled non-medical professionals who provide physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and informational support. Our birthworkers are equipped to provide clients with culturally relevant, holistic care and advocacy. The expertise of our birthworkers includes fertility, prenatal, labor/birth, postpartum, nutrition, energy work, lactation, massage therapy, maternal mental health, bereavement, abortion, and end of life care.
***Note: The origins of the word "doula" means "female servant" or "female slave" in Greek. Language matters. Words take on various meanings, symbols hold significance in our psyche, and our actions are reflective of it as well. For this reason, we are beginning to shift our language away from the use of the term "doula". Although it may be used interchangeably here, we identify as birthworkers or birth worker professionals and have officially changed our name from Sacred Seeds Black Doula Collective of Colorado to Sacred Seeds Black Birthworker Collective of Colorado. As a birthworker collective, Sacred Seeds is poised to provide lovingly holistic, valuable, and professional support to our clients.
We believe the most holistic care is possible when a client is supported by their midwife or OB-Gyn for medical needs and a birthworker for non-medical care.
Please refer to our Sacred Seeds Birthworker directory for more information on our birthworkers. Each birthworker listed has a bio that shares details about their expertise, a link to their website or social media, and contact information to inquire about a consultation.
Sacred Seeds birthworkers set their own rates and availability to provide services on a low-cost or volunteer basis.
As key components of any birthing team who have a unique set of skills to support birthing people, Soul 2 Soul Sisters believes that birth workers deserve an equitable wage. We understand that the onus is on our failed healthcare system for under-resourcing Black communities with the means to access optimal healthcare services, not individual birthing people. For this reason, our organization is committed to paying Sacred Seeds birthworkers for their expertise and services through grant funding and donations to the collective while also advocating for change through our programming.
For 2022, our quarterly Meetings are held in Summer - August 2, 2022 - 6 - 7 p.m. (MST) and Fall - October 11, 2022 6 -7 p.m. (MST)
This is a sacred space for Black birthworkers to connect, share resources, and offer updates. If you are interested in attending, email email@example.com for more information.
Please visit https://soul2soulsisters.org/donate to submit a donation to our collective (select donation designation Care Package & Healing Circles for Black Women). Anything you can offer to support us will go toward paying our birth workers, expanding our programming, and making resources available to our community. Thank you in advance!
The start to a formal birth worker role almost always begins with accessing a training opportunity. Prior to this, we recommend networking with birthworkers in your community and educating yourself on the realities/experiences of the community you will be working with. Check out this amazing reading list created by Efe Osaren, a full spectrum doula and student midwife. It is also very important to get clear on your “why” and position yourself to enter birth work led by this understanding.
Your path in birthwork will require continuous learning so ultimately who you choose to train with initially should give you adequate skills, confidence, and guidance in getting started. Aligning your training organization with your “why” and the goals you have in servicing your community is wise. Hearing feedback from previously trained birth workers of any organization can be helpful. When seeking training, you will also have to take into consideration time commitments, your learning style, and finances. Many training organizations have scholarships and/or payment plans available.
Here’s a few Black Women led organizations to consider for your training and certification goals:
- Shafia Monroe Consulting - led by renowned midwife Shafia Monore this intensive online 4-week training of perinatal education, culture, and public health information offers dual certification as a “Full Circle” doula and preparation for those choosing to become midwives.
- Gifted Hands International - 15 weeks of online classes and a 3 day in person clinical training led by Shana Davis. Upon completion students will receive three certifications: Birth Doula, CPR & Community Breastfeeding educator.
- Okunsola’s Community Doula Training hosted by Jamaa Birth Village is a scholarship based, 60-hour hybrid community doula training, featuring virtual prerequisites and live virtual learning modules, with additional in-person hands-on learning & practice sessions, for Black & African-American people living in the St. Louis region.
- Birthing Advocacy Doula Training - offers socially conscious, culturally appropriate, diverse, and action-oriented full spectrum doula courses. BADT also offers 4 week continuing education courses related to disability, queer family formation, addition recovery, abortion care, and more.
- Doula Training & Certification: The JJ Way - led by Darline Turner this training offers online modules, live skills training, and six months of mentorship following the completion of the training which includes 1-on-1 support as well as cohort learning and debriefing circles.
- Uzazi Village’s Perinatal Doula Training - over 8 day training sessions doulas are equipped to support families in birth/postpartum doula work, childbirth education, sexual and reproductive health, and breastfeedin peer counseling.
- Community Birth Sister/Doula Training by Sista Midwife - this online training is taught by Nicole Deggins, CNM and L&D nurse. Based on the community health worker model, it combines the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of pregnancy as well as incorporating music, ritual and wisdom from various Indigenous and African spiritual systems.
We’re interested in partnerships that are in alignment with our values, position Black birthworkers as valuable, and center community-led initiatives in addressing the realities of Black birthing people and their families. If this sounds like you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
Our Sister Kinyata LaCreshia Jackson is an Ancestor Now
It is with immense shock and profound grief that we share the passing of our dear sister, Kinyata LaCreshia Jackson on September 2, 2021. 🕊💙
Kinyata is forever 35-years-old, a wife, mother - her youngest child is 8-months-old - a community organizer, doula with Soul 2 Soul Sisters' Sacred Seeds Black Doula Collective of Colorado, creator of decadent gift baskets named after her daughter Eden, a business owner of Remembrance Wellness & Yoga, and so much more. She embodies a lifelong commitment to social justice and community healing through loving-kindness and service.
Kinyata, or “Yata” as she is affectionately known by many, exemplified love in every way. If you were blessed with the opportunity to know her, Kinyata was certain to leave you with a presence that commanded joy, honor, and respect. With a smile so divine and contagious, her style super fly, and her energy absolutely unmatched, Kinyata will be missed forever and cherished by Soul 2 Soul Sisters and the Colorado community.
Kinyata's beloved family - her mother, Yolanda McCloud, sisters, Kendal and Kenadi Jackson, husband, Ernest Jackson, children, Keegan Lamaj Alan Reid, Eden Khylynn Mercedes Jackson, and Elohim Khylsn Jackson, and Kinyata's community of extended family, friends, mentors and mentees ... please lift all in loving thoughts/prayer/energy as we are in shock and grieving deeply. If you are able, please continue to support her family by donating and/or sharing her fundraiser. We thank you in advance.