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The History and Vision 

The Healthy Birth Louisiana (HBL) initiative began in 2019 with support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation (BCBSLA). The initiative started with a close examination of Louisiana's birth outcomes, followed by a statewide tour identifying partners and allies for improving birth. Sista Midwife Productions (SMP) had been training doulas for over five years and was now on a mission to create more impact. SMP's vision, to train perinatal community health workers, to increase the numbers of culturally competent community birth workers across the state, came to fruition in April 2020 with the training of the first cohort of PCHW. In October, 13 individuals residing in Louisiana’s Health Department (LDH) Regions 7 and 8 completed their training and became the first set of individuals to receive a Healthy Birth Ambassador (HBA) certificate. Since then we have trained 50 individuals as Healthy Birth Ambassadors with representation from 7 of LDH’s 9 regions. Our vision is to ultimately train Healthy Birth Ambassadors™ for every region of the state to serve every parish of Louisiana where service is needed.

Our Key Messages

  • How we are born and how we give birth matters. It matters deeply; not only for the birthing family. It matters for all of us.

  • Mothers and infants across our state are dying at unacceptable rates and families are suffering.

  • There are MAJOR disparities in birth outcomes. Black mothers, Black Infants, and Black Families suffer the most.

  • EVERYONE is responsible for improving birth outcomes.

What is a Healthy Birth Ambassador?

Healthy Birth Ambassadors™ (HBAs) are Perinatal Community Health Workers (PCHWs) who live and work in the same community. HBAs understand that how women give birth directly impacts how they parent and how they show up in life and in society. Louisiana HBAs are provided with information, training, and support to become certified doulas, childbirth educators, certified breastfeeding specialists and community health workers.  The core values of the Healthy Birth Ambassador™ can be summed up using the Acronym C.A.S.E Through Community Connections, Advocacy, Service, Support and Education, we believe HBAs can improve birth outcomes for our state.

Healthy Birth Louisiana Sponsors

Donate to support us as we continue this work across our state! 

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