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In this episode I am joined by Aza Nedhari, co-founder and executive director of Mamatoto Village, a non-profit training and deploying community health workers to support women through pregnancy, childbirth, and the first months of parenting. Nearly 90 percent of the organization’s clients are African American women who, as a group, suffer dramatically worse maternal health outcomes than other women. Aza pioneered the organization’s comprehensive perinatal health worker training, which uses the community health worker model as a blueprint for creating pathways for women of color in human services and maternal health professions.

Aza is a midwife and family counselor, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in human services. With a concentration in organizational leadership and management, her goal is to cultivate innovative models of perinatal care. She is also currently working on legalizing certified professional midwives in the District of Colombia.

We discuss systemic racism and barriers facing the midwifery profession in the U.S., as well as the benefits of the community birth worker model. We also talk about Aza’s extremely pivotal role in the development of my book, Babies are Not Pizzas.

For more information and news about Evidence Based Birth®, visit Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Ready to get involved? Check out our Professional membership (including scholarship options) and our Instructor program. Find an EBB Instructor here, and click here to learn more about the Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class.


Visit the Mamatoto Village website here, or connect on Facebook, on Twitter, or Instagram.

Click here to see Advancing Birth Justice: Community-Based Doula Models as a Standard of Care for Ending Racial Disparities, from Black Mamas Matter Alliance.

Get my book Babies are Not Pizzas: They’re Born, Not Delivered, on Amazon.

Listening to this podcast is an Australian College of Midwives CPD Recognised Activity.

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