Community Doula Initiative 


Through collaborations, training, support and education, CDI aims to build community capacity to understand, support, and embrace birth work in addressing maternal and infant birth outcomes and health.  


  • Inform families on the benefits of birthing with a doula and gather their feedback on the best way to bring them doula services

  • Enhance, strengthen and support existing working being done in birth and doula work

  • Cultivate a collaborative community of doulas/birth workers

  • Discover gaps/needs

  • Conduct a current inventory of doula services

  • Garner support from community leaders, stakeholders and elected officials


About CDI

Doula Roundtable (DR)

Black doulas in Milwaukee County gather for the purpose of fostering community, collaboration, and innovations in birth work. The DR will be responsible for developing the directory of doula services in order to identify existing gaps in services and promote current services.  DR attend workshops designed to provide doulas with skills, tools, and resources that are best practices for collaborative communities and collective work/responsibility.


Doula Champion Program (DCP)

Nine to 12 women participating in the DR will be identified and chosen to participate in the DCP.  Participants will attend a training program that will prepare them to facilitate the 8 Community Conversations. The Doula Champions  will be guided through planning, developing and facilitating the community conversations.


Community Conversations (CC)

Eight Community Conversations will be hosted by reputable organizations in neighborhoods where there are high African American infant mortality rates. The primary goals of the Community Conversations are to (1) build the community’s understanding of the impact of doula-assisted births on maternal and child health, (2) identify challenges facing access to doula care, (3) learn about what care and birth experiences families wish to have, (4) learn from a community-lens what is desired and needed to improve and enhance positive birth outcomes, and (5) identify key priority areas for recommendations.