black babies

Courtesy of Sabrina Foulks-Thomas

In recent years, a number of black and brown women in Milwaukee have become doulas, and now there’s also a push to train more midwives of color. These trained, licensed medical professionals deliver babies in hospitals, birthing centers, and at homes.

Sabrina Foulks-Thomas, who is black, is one of those midwives. She has done this work for the past three years.

While there are midwives in Milwaukee who have worked in the field for decades, Foulks-Thomas says she recognizes the impact she can have as a black woman.

LaToya Dennis

The city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County are investing in doulas in hopes reducing the number of black babies who die before the age of one.

READ: Wisconsin has the highest infant mortality rate for black babies in the country. Why?

While doulas don’t have medical training, they do provide emotional, physical and mental support to families before, during and after the arrival of a baby.

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So for a lot of families, there’s this thing that happens when they find out they’re expecting a baby. Once they get past the Is this really happening? stage and all the excitement that can come with knowing you’re growing a life, in can set the worry.

Am I eating the right foods? Am I getting enough sleep? Is this safe for the baby? Is my baby moving enough? How will…. What if… and on, and on.

For me, this was personal. 2018 was a monumental year for my family.

My husband and I welcomed our daughter.