NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Pregnancy can be a tough time for moms, and doulas — trained non-healthcare women who provide support throughout the process — can be helpful.

A Nashville non-profit has a new space to increase its doula services to Black mothers and families during and after pregnancy. 

“The state of Tennessee put out a report last year that stated in 2017 and in 2018, 46 Black women died from pregnancy or pregnancy-related complications. They also stated that 100 percent of those deaths were preventable.”

It’s a heartbreaking statistic that Kristin Mejia-Greene, CEO and founder of the Homeland Heart Birth and Wellness Collective, wants to shrink by addressing disparities in healthcare for Black moms and infants. 

“We do specialize in things like helping moms with their blood pressure. We see that cardio myopathies, high blood pressure and hypertension issues in the Black community are some of the things keeping us from thriving in the delivery room,” Mejia-Greene said.

Her organization does that with trained community doulas.

Jordan Whitaker, a client of the organization, says her doula was right there with her at the birth of her child.

“I started labor overnight, it was 4 in the morning and I was cramping. I didn’t call my actual doula until 9 a.m..,” Whitaker said.  “She came, she brought the birth ball, she was helping me to walk.”

Mejia-Greene’s organization has been offering services for a year, at little to no cost, in seven different Nashville zip codes. 

“These women have charged me nothing. They’re offering this service to Black women in the community for pennies,” Whitaker said. “It’s amazing.”   

The company’s new space opened a month ago with room for prenatal sessions that allows moms to bond with their unborn babies.

“In order to ask someone to take care of us in a certain manner, we first have to show them what that looks like,” Mejia-Greene said.

The group has now set up appointment times. If you want to make an appointment, donate, or learn more about the non-profit, click here.   

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