Dear Community Members,
I can’t believe it’s been a quarter already since we hired our two full-time community-based doulas. I had a dream for over a decade and this dream came true last November when Best Start for Kids(BSK) granted us their Evidence-Based, Evidence Informed grant. I am so grateful to BSK for investing in us to continue to improve birth outcomes for Somali women and children in King County.
I bring over 15 years of experience of working with the Somali community around perinatal services’ at first as a certified Medical Interpreter, a doula, a childbirth educator and then as a licensed midwife. I have witnessed first-hand the health disparities around perinatal that my community faces on a daily basis. I wanted to help women in my community enjoy their pregnancy without the overzealous sometimes unnecessary worry inflicted from the medical community. I wanted the women in my community to have blissful births where they felt like they were well respected and well understood what their needs and wishes were for their birth so that they too might be satisfied with their birth outcomes no matter what.
Compared to other women, Somali women have higher maternal and neonatal morbidity. Among all women who had cesarean deliveries, Somali women more commonly had cesarean deliveries associated with fetal distress and failed induction of labor. (Johnson et al 2005)
I can’t say it was easy starting a non-profit from the ground up but I saw a need in my community and I wanted to help do something about it. One of my favorite quotes is of John F. Kennedy’s, “Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.” I love this quote and I try to embody it and when I saw the high rise of cesareans and intervention in women in my community I knew I had to do what I can to help. I also knew I could not do it alone so I encouraged and mentored women from the community to become doulas.
Within our first quarter we have enrolled 14 families, had two beautiful births and over 40 home visits. We accomplished this with only two doulas. Our doulas help our clients holistically, connecting them to services in the community to being at their birth and doing light chores for the postpartum mom.
Moving forward we would like to hire more doulas from different communities and add additional programs around perinatal services. We cannot do this work without your support so we urge you to give and give big. Your donations are tax deductible. I will continue to share with you all how your donations are making difference in the lives of our clients.
I will continue to make a difference and bring about change in helping bring the perinatal disparity gap in my community and in all communities of colors.
Faisa Farole, Executive Director