04.22.2021

Doulas and midwives are crucial in addressing postpartum depression for Black people. Many can’t afford one.

Clara Sharp, left, and Sonja Watley, right, both doulas and co-directors of the company Ahavah Birthworks, visit expectant mother Claire Littleton, center, who is on Medicaid.   |   Clara Sharp, left, and Sonja Watley, right, both doulas and co-directors of the company Ahavah Birthworks, visit expectant mother Claire Littleton, center, who is on Medicaid. | Photo by Leila Navidi/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Martine Wilson can look into a pregnant person’s eyes and see an entire hidden story. And even as Wilson’s work has been relegated to Zoom and only occasional visits to homes, she can still sense something is wrong: The rates of postpartum depression have never been this high. 

Wilson, who is based in Sacramento, California, has been a home birth midwife and doula for over 20 years. She’s had a front-row seat to the mental health struggles pregnant people have faced this past year, particularly the Black women she serves. 

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