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Black Male Doulas Are Definitely A Thing: Encouraging a New Wave of Birthworkers

Black Male Doulas

In recent years, a remarkable movement has emerged within the world of birthwork, one that is reshaping traditional roles and challenging stereotypes. Black and Brown men are stepping forward as midwives and doulas, redefining the landscape of birthing support and breaking down gender barriers. Today, we celebrate the journey of cultural producers and social entrepreneurs Dustin Young and Lee Johnson, founders of the visionary organization "Our Own" since 2018, as they lead the charge and inspire others to join them in this transformative endeavor.


Dustin and Lee's story serves as an inspiring testament to the profound impact that Black and Brown men can have as birthworkers. With over two decades of combined experience in community organizing, healthcare, and cultural production, they recognized the need for greater diversity and representation in the birthing world. Their passion and dedication led to the creation of "Our Own," a pioneering organization committed to supporting and empowering Black and Brown families throughout the childbirth journey.


The role of Black male midwives and doulas extends far beyond physical assistance during childbirth. It encompasses the creation of a safe, culturally sensitive environment in which expectant parents feel heard, respected, and supported. Here are a few compelling reasons why more Black and Brown men should consider becoming birthworkers:


Representation Matters:

When Black and Brown men become midwives or doulas, they become crucial representations for their communities. Seeing someone who shares their background in a professional role empowers expectant parents and fosters trust between clients and birthworkers.


Addressing Healthcare Disparities:

Communities of color often face significant healthcare disparities, particularly in maternal and infant mortality rates. Black male birthworkers can play a pivotal role in mitigating these disparities by advocating for equitable care and ensuring culturally competent support.


Emotional and Mental Support:

Pregnancy and childbirth can be emotionally and mentally taxing for expectant parents. Black male midwives and doulas offer a unique form of support, providing empathy, guidance, and understanding throughout the birthing process.


Building Stronger Communities:

Becoming a birthworker means becoming a catalyst for change in your community. The impact of this work reverberates through generations, fostering healthier, happier families and strengthening communities overall.


Dustin Young and Lee Johnson exemplify how Black and Brown men can shatter stereotypes and become leaders in the birthwork community. Their organization, "Our Own," offers comprehensive training, mentorship, and resources for aspiring birthworkers, ensuring they are well-prepared to deliver the highest level of care.


Black Male Doulas

So, if you're a Black or Brown man with a passion for supporting expectant parents, consider taking the bold step toward becoming a birthworker. Your unique perspective, empathy, and dedication can make a world of difference. Join the movement championed by Dustin Young and Lee Johnson since 2018, and together, let's rewrite the narrative of childbirth, one birth at a time.


If you're not quite ready to become a Doula, there are many other alternatives that can help us out.


  1. Your one-time or monthly donation helps keep CVDoulas working to turn the tide on the disproportionate numbers surrounding Black maternal mortality and morbidity.

  2. You can become a Doula! With the 100 Doulas training program underway, you'll be getting started at just the right time.

  3. Reach out to volunteer in other ways. We're a small organization doing considerable work. We could use all hands on deck!


Thank you in advance for helping in any way you can. We appreciate you assisting Chicago Volunteer Doulas in our efforts to end the disparities surrounding Black maternal mortality and morbidity through education, services, and resources.


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