May 13, 2024

Alabama has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the nation. By educating, building confidence, and empowering expecting families, Diamonds for Doulas is working to change this. Our newest CHAMPion of the Week supports families through their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journeys, providing free childbirth education classes, support groups for breastfeeding, postpartum and infant and pregnancy loss, and free Doula services to families who are Medicaid and WIC eligible.

Diamonds for Doulas was created through a collaboration between Diamonds in the Rough Foundation, founded by Brittany Watson, and Birthing by Your Design, founded by Crystina Hughes. Diamonds in the Rough provides support and solutions to stigmas that minority communities face, and Birthing by Your Design is focused on ensuring that families have a birthing experience that is orchestrated by their personalized needs and desires. The collaboration allowed both groups to work towards their ultimate goal, lowering Black maternal mortality rates in their communities.

Today, Diamonds for Doulas is led by a dedicated team with a shared passion for maternal health, breastfeeding, and simply supporting their community. The team includes Crystina Hughes, a Licensed Practical Nurse and DONA-certified Birth Doula; Franeisha Coleman, a fertility, birth, and postpartum Doula who enjoys incorporating her knowledge in herbalism to support healing and sustaining the full spectrum of reproduction and breastfeeding; and Jamilah Channel, a Commonsense Childbirth Training Institute-certified Doula and midwife assistant.

All team members are trained through CHAMPS’ partner ROSE (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere) as Community Transformers. This allows Diamonds for Doulas to provide peer counseling in their community in lactation management and support. Additionally, they are connected to the ROSE community, allowing them to make referrals for families if issues arise that are out of their scope of practice.

Crystina Hughes shares, “We believe it truly takes a village and a supportive community to support a family through pregnancy and postpartum and we are striving to do our part to make a difference in maternal health and breastfeeding.”

On June 22, 2024, Diamonds for Doulas is holding their very first Community Baby Shower! Their goal is to provide 50 families with the essential items that are needed to comfortably transition into parenthood. Additionally, the baby shower will have representatives from various organizations that can be helpful, local resources for community members.

CHEER is inspired by Diamonds for Doulas’ dedication to collaboration, maternal health, and accessible support for families. We are thrilled to celebrate them as our CHAMPion of the Week!