SistasCaring4Sistas is a community-based doula program at MAHEC committed to social justice and reducing health disparities for woman and infants of color.
SistasCaring4Sistas was founded in November 2016 by Nikita Smart, Wakina Norris, Sade Muskatem, and Cindy McMillan—all active members of the Mothering Asheville movement. At that time, babies born to women of color in Buncombe County were three times more likely to die in the first year of life than white babies.
When the founders learned that having doula support could help reverse this trend, they decided to pursue training through Homegrown Babies and DONA International with the support of MAHEC and a generous grant from the Blue Cross NC Foundation.
After earning their certification in 2016, SistasCaring4Sistas began providing doula services through MAHEC to support mothers at any point during their pregnancy—from their first prenatal visit through labor and postpartum at home. Since then, each doula has pursued additional training in childbirth education, breastfeeding support, postpartum (after-birth care), and peer support for women who have mental health and/or substance use challenges.
To date, SistasCaring4Sistas has supported more than 100 women through pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum; and we welcome new clients every month.
SistasCaring4Sistas is just that: sistas who co-create safe spaces and assist sistas in empowering themselves by creating positive birth experiences and outcomes that promote healthy families and community connections.
SistasCaring4Sistas will eradicate disparities in maternal and infant mortality by providing education and doula services before, during, and after pregnancy for families who face adverse maternal health outcomes. We will build sustainable community capacity and form lasting connections with our clients through open lines of communication and wraparound resources.
About Mothering Asheville
Mothering Asheville is a collaborative community-centered health movement focused on eliminating inequities in infant mortality in Buncombe County. An ever-growing movement, community partners include SistasCaring4Sistas, MAHEC, Buncombe County’s Nurse Family Partnership, YWCA Asheville, Asheville-Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement (ABIPA), and Pisgah Legal Services.
More About Us
If you’d like to learn more about the history of our doula program and Mothering Asheville, we encourage you to explore these news articles.
The Secret of Saving the Lives of Black Mothers and Babies, Politico Magazine
'Sistas' Aim to Reduce Disparities in the Delivery Room, Blue Ridge Public Radio
Stories from Mothers of Color Spur New Effort in Buncombe County to Fight Infant Mortality, Asheville Citizen-Times
Call us at 828-620-9828 or 828-216-2606 to learn how our doulas could support you or a friend or family member.