NDoula Community Alliance is a community building organization addressing quality of life gaps within Chicago communities by increasing access to patient-centered, equitable, integrative healthcare. We approach health equity with a specifically inclusive, trauma-informed, and violence prevention lens. NDoula works to build a Chicago where all patients and birthing people benefit from informed decision making among a culturally reflective care team.

     We highlight social, healing, and reproductive justice by addressing access to and creating unique wrap around resources that aim to strengthen networks of support.

     NDoula’s many projects seek to lift the lives and experiences of marginalized groups to center our happiness, autonomy, and joy.

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Women-Led Leadership

     Our team has an intimate knowledge of holistic & integrative care, abolitionism in healthcare, patient advocacy, home visiting, and community participatory engagement. We are keenly aware of the barriers to access that our communities face. This perspective catalyzes our innovative and sustainable approach.

     Our NDCA Leadership is made up completely of volunteers. Combined, our Board of Directors and Executive Staff are currently 100% women, 100% healthcare and/or social service workers, and 67% Black. 


     The NDoula Mentorship community partners with people 18 years and over that identify as being part of a marginalized community or are working in healthcare or birthwork  to provide culturally reflective, long term, and reliable relationships. Currently, 73% of our mentees identify as Black, and 16% Latine. Mentees direct their goal setting, while mentors help strategize means to accomplish them.

     We apprentice/train mentees who are interested in becoming mentors, and provide referrals for those requiring other culturally reflective mentors.

Why NDoula? Why Now?

     Thru advocacy and organizing, NDoula serves those hardest hit by the Black Maternal Health Crisis. For centuries, the North American healthcare system has harmed Black women and infants. Remnants of the rationale that led men’s inhumane experimentation on Black enslaved women and children to form the foundation of institutional Obstetrics and Gynecology still inform birth and generalized healthcare to this day. This legacy of violence is reflected in maternal and infant mortality numbers. Although 80% of these deaths are preventable, maternal mortality is twice as high in the USA as Canada, and Black maternal mortality is three times the rate for white patients (CDC 2021), and six times that rate for Black women birthing in Chicago. Furthermore, Black babies have the highest infant mortality.

     A concurrent mental health crisis and dwindling healthcare system resistant to holistic integration are contributing to these poor health outcomes. Yet, Illinois is a state without licensure for naturopathic medicine, leaving many people without access to it– especially those from marginalized and divested backgrounds. Per the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), only 1/3 of Black adults needing mental health treatment receive it (NAMI 2020). These disparities have led to long-lasting impacts on quality of life, family planning, and lifelong achievement. 

     Still, with autonomous options and patient-centered care, birth should not be a source of fear. NDoula stands for the protection, safety, and satisfaction of Black perinatal people and all vulnerable patients.

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Special thanks to NDoula’s 2023/2024 funding partners

To support this work, contact Mai.Heath@NDoula.org

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