Birthwell Partners is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that actively seeks to fill the gap in care for low-resource mothers in Alabama.
When I was pregnant with my first child and wanting to have an unmedicated birth a friend of mine directed me to Dalia Abrams and her natural childbirth classes. My husband and I went to the first class not knowing what to expect. There we encountered, Dalia, a petite woman with dark curly hair and tie-dyed flowy pants. We would quickly learn she was the embodiment of Shakespeare quote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
Dalia is fierce, especially when it comes to empowering women. After she experienced how empowered her first child’s birth made her feel she knew she wanted to help other women have that same positive birth experience. Dalia began teaching naturally minded childbirth classes and providing breastfeeding education in 1998. Once her oldest child could drive, she started attending births as a birth doula. After becoming certified as a birth doula, Dalia continued her education to become a certified doula trainer. She now offers her doula and education services through Birthwise Birmingham, doula co-op operating in the greater Birmingham area.
In 2011, Dalia and Susan Petrus co-founded Birthwell Partners. Birthwell is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that actively seeks to fill the gap in care for low-resource and teen mothers in Alabama. Birthwell Partners provides low-cost and free doula services to women who would otherwise be unable to afford doula assistance. When asked about how Birthwell operates Dalia states, “we train doulas, providing need-based scholarship assistance for the entire training and certification process, to increase diversity (economic and racial diversity) of doulas in our area. Since founding, we have held 13 doula workshops and trained 175 people. We match volunteer doulas with low-resource families who can’t afford the cost of a doula (which is $400-$900 in Birmingham), charging whatever the family can afford, and often providing services for free.” Insurance plans and Medicaid does not cover doula services.
While multiple factors affect the infant mortality rate in Alabama, poverty is among one of the top offenders. For mothers and families who live in low-resource areas the kind of support that Birthwell offers can save lives. To learn more about Birthwell Partners visit their www.birthwellpartners.org or follow them on social media at @BirthWellPartners.