- Letter from the Executive Director
- SisterWeb Mission, Vision and Values
- SisterWeb Programs
- Doula Program Data and Publications
- SisterWeb Community Clients
- Who are our SisterWeb Doulas?
- Moments that Shine
- Honesty About our Challenges and Vision of What's Ahead
- The Team
- Community and Corporate Partners and Allies and Funding and Finances
SisterWeb acknowledges that it is located on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush (“rah-my-toosh”) Ohlone peoples, and recognizes that, as the original stewards of this land, the Ramaytush Ohlone understood the interconnectedness of all things and maintained harmony with nature for millennia. SisterWeb honors the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples for their enduring commitment to Mother Earth.
SisterWeb also respectfully acknowledges the Ramaytush Ohlone, the original inhabitants of what is now the San Francisco Peninsula, and we further acknowledge that parts of the greater Bay Area are the ancestral territories of the Coastal Miwok, Yokuts, and Patwin, and other Ohlone peoples. Here in Visitacion Valley, it is the home of the Amuctac (ah-moosh-tac).
Indigenous communities have lived in and moved through this land over hundreds of generations and Indigenous peoples from many nations make their home in this region today. Please join us in recognizing and honoring their ancestors, descendants, elders, and all other members of their communities.
Letter from the Executive Director
When the idea of SisterWeb was conceived we had an ambitious, manifold goal. We wanted to reduce Black maternal mortality rates, ensure Black and Brown women had access to doula care, and ensure these women received these services by trusted members of their community.
I am proud to say with each year, we are getting closer and closer to achieving this once daunting goal.
Kindred Birth Companions
Kindred Birth Companions is a Doula program created by and for Black Doulas Black families in SF to support the Black family structure by empowering Black families to have safe, memorable, and joyous birthing experiences. Through awareness, education, and one-on-one support, we strive to remove “Black” as a risk factor for morbidity, boost family resiliency and positive parenting experiences, and create a vibrant community.
Semilla Sagrada is a direct service program created by Latinx Doulas of different nationalities to support Latinx families and birth workers in San Francisco. The care and support provided celebrates the unique stories of our clients and their loved ones, uplifts their culture and traditions, and serves as bridges of empowerment to help ensure Latinx families have memorable and dignified births full of joy.
SisterWeb's Workforce Development Program promotes training awareness and facilitates the exchange of information regarding suitable training methods and materials that benefit SisterWeb and the overall local birthwork landscape. We provide staff with training opportunities in SisterWeb's Birth and Professional Core Competencies to ensure their success in SisterWeb and beyond. Doulas and staff receive crucial support and ongoing coaching so that they have access to the appropriate guidance needed to provide exceptional care. Additionally, SisterWeb provides Doula mentors to help our Doulas identify their strengths and support systems and achieve their personal and professional goals.
Doula Apprentice Program
Initiated in 2022, SisterWeb's Doula Apprentice Program is committed to cultivating and developing potential SisterWeb Community Doulas. This program is designed to grow individuals through a series of core components to gain experience and/or complete their Doula certification process. SisterWeb's Doula Apprentice Program is four to six months long and includes on-the-job training, virtual learning assignments, access to ongoing mentorship, peer coaching, ongoing access to Professional and Birth Core Competencies, networking, and other avenues for learning during the apprenticeship period.
Goal 1 Data Points:
- Average amount that SisterWeb Doulas feel like SisterWeb is helping them achieve their professional goals = 8.76/10
- % of Doulas who report that they feel that their mentors are there to help them identify their own goals, assess their resources, find solutions = 100%
- Average level reported by SisterWeb Doulas of feeling supported and encouraged by their mentors = 9.7/10
- Average level reported by SisterWeb Doulas who feel that their skills in birthwork are improving due to SisterWeb mentors = 9.2/10
- Amount of one-on-one mentorship sessions held = 80
- Amount of group mentorship sessions held = 46
2022/2023 SisterWeb Publication that supports our Goal 1 Data
This publication illustrates the wide variety of work that SisterWeb community doulas commit beyond direct client care. Their hard work and dedication deserves acknowledgment by means of professional support and appropriate compensation.
What, when, and how long? Doula time use in a community doula program in San Francisco, California
Goal 2 Data Points:
- % of SisterWeb Clients who report that they felt understood by their Doula regarding specific challenges, strengths, and cultural considerations of their community = 100%
- % of SisterWeb Clients who report that their SisterWeb Doulas helped them feel more confident navigating healthcare systems and understanding their rights and options = 95%
- % of SW Clients who felt encouraged by their SisterWeb Doulas to use all of the resources available to them during pregnancy and early parenting = 100%
- % of SW Clients who initiated breastfeeding at birth = 91.8%
- • % of SW Clients who are breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum = 81.3%
- % of SW Clients who said that SisterWeb Doulas helped them feel connected to their baby = 95%
- % of SW Clients that would like to have a SisterWeb Doula should they get pregnant again = 95%
- % of SW Clients that would someday like to help members of their community by becoming a community doula = 82.9%
2022-2023 SisterWeb Publication that Supports our Goal 2 Data
This publication explores Black and Pacific Islander Doula clients’ motivations for seeking Doula care and their experiences with our community Doula programs.
"They’re gonna be there to advocate for me so I’m not by myself”: A qualitative analysis of Black women’s motivations for seeking and experiences with community doula care
Goal 3 Data Points:
- 5 Total Champion Dyad Initiative participating hospitals and birth centers
- 39 Champion Dyad Initiative meetings held between medical representatives and SisterWeb
- 252 Referrals in total made from all Champion Dyad Initiative sites to SisterWeb
- % average of SisterWeb clients' level of feeling supported, heard, and respected by their medical providers during their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with Doula support = 88% (8.8/10)
2022-2023 SisterWeb Publication that Supports our Goal 3 Data
SisterWeb’s Champion Dyad Initiative program is an initiative that was created to promote advocacy for our clients and Doulas within their birthing spaces. This publication highlights how the Doula’s presence inspires health practitioners to provide equitable and quality care for their birthing patients.
“An extra layer of pressure to be my best self”: Healthcare provider perspectives on how doulas foster accountability and bridge gaps in pregnancy-related care
Goal 4 Data Points:
- We currently have 8 full time Doulas who are fully benefited
- 6 with Kindred Birth Companions
- 2 with Semilla Sagrada
- Average amount that SW staff who report that their voice is supported and heard at SisterWeb = 9.17/10
- In 2021/2022 we hired 3 full time Doulas, in 2022/2023 we hired 4 full time Doulas
2022-2023 SisterWeb Publication that Supports our Goal 4 Data
SisterWeb continues to partner with allied researchers and advocates to elevate the need for respectfully funded Community Doula organizations and programs. We recently contributed to a policy brief that promotes sustainable public funding for the Doula profession.
Getting Doulas Paid: Advancing Community-Based Doula Models in Medicaid Reimbursement Conversations
Client Photovoice Project
SisterWeb Intern, Dulce, led a Photovoice Project with SisterWeb clients and then presented the qualitative, client-centered data in a creative and tangible way. Clients expressed their birthing experience with SisterWeb Doulas through quotes and pictures that were then sewn into a quilt where the client data could be interpreted in a way that engages multiple senses.
"Every time I would see them, I would almost cry. I am very thankful for the emotional and psychological support they provided me as it was very helpful. The work they do shows respect and love, and sometimes as human beings that's all we need at that moment."
-SisterWeb Semilla Sagrada Client 2022
"She [doula] was such a great support to me. She encouraged me and would tell me to go out for a walk, to do things. I feel like people like her are such a great support for people like us that migrated to this country and live alone."
-SisterWeb Semilla Sagrada Client 2022
"She [doula] made me feel really comfortable. She made me feel really secure, and I literally always say the only way I'm gonna have another baby is if I get the same doula. I was very happy."
-SisterWeb Kindred Birth Companions Client 2022
From Client to SisterWeb Doula: Shanee's Story
it was the most magical moment in my life that I will forever cherish.
“Hello, my name is Shanee Jones. I decided to work with SisterWeb as a doula because of the amazing services they offer. These services can be beneficial to many mothers who need the extra support and knowledge to learn about their rights during the birthing process that can be a very scary and nervous time. My first experience with SisterWeb was as a client. SisterWeb uplifted me during such a stressful and challenging situation in my life due to being considered a high risk pregnancy. My doula, Azraa, made me feel calm and relaxed enough to trust the whole process of giving birth. By reassuring me that this was temporary and “You got this. You’re doing a wonderful job.” Beautiful affirmations and encouragement helped me build a calm and grounded energy to focus on the importance of getting my baby girl out and healthy. Overall, it was the most magical moment in my life that I will forever cherish."
Moments That Shine
Description: A community event that takes place every month in the Bayview. The Pregnancy Pop-Up Village welcomes families, pregnant people, and all interested in celebrating community, engaging in self-care, and gathering valuable resources and services.
How do we work to overcome our challenges?
- Strong teamwork and community support
- Extensive evaluation of our programs so we know what works and what doesn't
- Increasing the amount of Doulas who can work full time with full benefits
- Providing ongoing mentorship to Doulas
- Providing transportation services to our clients and Doulas
- Building financial sustainability by diversifying our funding sources
The Team-SisterWeb Shining Stars
Our heartfelt thanks to the following individuals and families for their contribution to SisterWeb
- Abigail Stopper
- Alana Diamos
- Alexis Sturdy
- Alison Hamburg
- Amy Benedetto
- Amy Zelezen
- Beth Rees
- Briann McCoy
- Brianna Green
- Carmen Martin
- Carmen N-Guerrero
- Christina Markle DeCoudres
- Claire Zimmer
- Cynthia Lum
- Dan Nissenbaum
- Davida Silverman
- Eleanor Drey
- Emelyn Bluhm
- Emily Barrett
- Erica Gross
- Hannah Addario-Berry
- Jenna Lewis
- Jennifer Darwin
- Jessica Rix
- Jessie Pearson
- Kaitlin and Peter Levenstrong
- Kathleen Hawkins
- Katie Seifert
- Kiran Nigam
- Lesly Simmons
- Lia Faaleava
- Madeline Oden
- Madison Smith
- Marna Armstead
- Mary Fitzpatrick
- Michael Nuttall
- Michelle Mak
- Mollie Goodman
- Monnie Efross
- Nora Houseman
- Patricia Rodriguez
- Rachael Arreguin
- Raissa Trend
- Robin Fragner
- Sara Van Acker and Adam Weiss
- Shannon Padlog
- Zan Armstrong