LEMOORE, Calif. (KFSN) — Joytonia ‘Joy’ Jackson started as a doula in 1996, assisting military wives, while her husband was stationed at the Marine Corps base in Southern California’s Twentynine Palms.
Five years ago, she founded Dutchess of Doula in Lemoore, a childbirth education service that helps women in their birthing and postpartum journey.
She aims to help save Black babies and mothers, who die more often during childbirth or pregnancy than those from any other race.
“Everybody that’s part of that labor team, it is a trauma. And for us to decrease numbers for the mortality rate to change by adding a doula to everyone that has a baby or that’s pregnant, that is a start right there,” says Jackson.
It’s being called a maternal health crisis and Central California has not been spared.
“We do put more effort into the African Americans because they are lacking and they are the ones right now that have the number one high health care disparity. Mortality rate is crazy, especially in Fresno County,” says Jackson.
Dutchess of Doula offers childbirth workshops to parents, and trains women like Yesenia Scott to become doulas.
Scott believes everyone should have a doula.
“They can do a lot with advocating providing resources that you may not know that are out there to support in general. It’s really important when you’re pregnant,” says Scott.
Doula services range between $550 to $2,000. Payment plans are available and prices can be offered on a sliding scale. Details on hiring Dutchess of Doula can be found here.
If you are interested in becoming a doula, Dutchess of Doula’s next training starts August 15th and goes through November. Details can be found here.
“Aftershock” a new ABC Documentary which highlights the maternal health crisis impacting Black women across the nation is now out on Hulu.
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