Red Birth Green

Red Birth Green (RBG) provides accessible, full-spectrum reproductive care to the Kalamazoo area. Our WOC-founded and
led team offers all-embracing community care for the modern age.  

Upcoming Events

Community Doula Academy is coming Spring 2022!

Red Birth Green is seeking healthcare collaborators!

Email redbirthgreen@rootead.org for more details.

About Red Birth Green

Red Birth Green (RBG) provides accessible, full-spectrum reproductive care to the Kalamazoo area. Our WOC-founded and led team offers all-embracing community care for the modern age.  

We believe in the principle of Sankofa, which teaches us that we must remember our past to move forward in the future. Our birthwork philosophy combines traditional healing practices and collectivism with a modern standard of care.  

We meet our clients where they are, without judgment or opinion. Your lived experiences are important and valuable, and we will always trust your judgement.  This is your body and your birth; our goal is to empower all families to advocate for themselves through shared knowledge and connections.   

Our History

Red Birth Green was founded as the Rootead Doula Collective in 2016 as a way to address Black infant mortality with community care and principles of traditional healing practices. Equitable access and care for all is and has always been our driving mission. 

Red Birth Green Outcomes

-90 Babies welcomed as of December 2021
-99% Breastfeeding initiation rate
-98% of RBG client pregnancies reach 37 weeks gestation or more
-99% of RBG client babies are born at a healthy weight (5.5 lbs or more)

Meet the Team

Élan Bridges | Red Birth Green Director

Élan is a native of Kalamazoo with a deep and abiding love for her community.  As a result, she sought a way to provide healing support to others and completed her full-spectrum doula certification in 2014.  Élan became an instrumental member of the Maternal-Child Health Division of Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services, while simultaneously serving as President of the Rootead Board of Directors.  

Through working with community partner organizations and building relationships with area families, Élan became a well-known proponent of birth equity and advocacy in Kalamazoo. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at Central Michigan University to strengthen her foundation of maternal-child health.

Rowan Jakobah | Red Birth Green Coordinator

Rowan is a Kalamazoo native and lover of all things body and land literacy. Since starting her herbalism journey in 2016, she received herbalism training with Janice Marsh-Prelesnik in 2018 and her Fertility Awareness & Sexual/Reproductive Health Educator Certification in 2021 through The Well. Her intention is to facilitate connection to and understanding of the body and the earth within the Kalamazoo community. It is an absolute dream and honor for her to do this within Rootead’s vision. An avid lover of performance and creativity, Rowan holds a Bachelor of Theatre Arts from the University of Michigan.

Specialties & Certifications: trained Herbalist; FAE/SHE certification; 7-9, 10-12 OWL facilitator certification; youth sex education; pregnancy release; Queer & Trans reproductive support.

2022 Programming

Herbalism through the Childbearing Year and Beyond (Wednesdays in May)

Learn about natural plant medicines that may be growing in your very own backyard.  We will explore safe home remedies for common ailments of pregnancy as well as other helpful healing herbs for the whole family.

Raising Liberated Children (Mondays in May)

Trina Greene-Brown’s book Parenting for Liberation can transform the way we parent.  In this series, we will be discussing parenting from a place of liberation rather than fear and reconnecting to ourselves, our children, and our community.

Grandma’s Hands: Herbs of the Black Southern Tradition (Wednesdays in October 5-26)

Learn the history behind the traditions and herbs used by our foremothers. We  will cover traditional herbalism, natural healing as an ancestral practice, and how to incorporate those principles into our modern lives. Happy Hoodoo History Month!

Fertility Awareness (Mid Sept-October)

This course, hosted by our Certified Fertility Awareness Educator Rowan Jakobah, is dedicated to improving our understanding of the body as a holistic system and that system’s connection to the natural world.  Participants will learn about Cycle Mapping, conscious sexuality, body awareness and more!

Living Body Literate: 6 week Fertility Awareness course (Wednesdays Sept 7 - October 12)

This course, hosted by our Certified Fertility Awareness Educator Rowan Jakobah, is dedicated to improving our understanding of the body as a holistic system and that system’s connection to the natural world. Participants will learn about Cycle Mapping, conscious sexuality, body awareness and more!

Release: A Healing Workshop (July 13-16)

In this series, we will cover the effects of trauma cycles through our family lines and how we have the power to end them.  This course series is a safe space to discuss the difficult aspects of family dynamics and attachment.  All participants will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement at registration.  

Village Circle (parenting peer support group)

The Circle meets monthly beginning in March to connect and share our experiences as parents and caregivers.  All are welcome regardless of your child’s age, as we can all benefit from the shared knowledge of both experienced and new parents.

Doula Service FAQs

What is a doula and why should I have one?

Doulas are trained childbirth professionals who provide emotional, physical, and educational support to clients and their families.  Our primary goal is to ensure that you are safe and supported through your childbearing experience and beyond, working alongside your team of healthcare professionals.  A doula is an objective support person, utilizing their training and evidence-based research to provide the best standard of care.

Your doula will: 
-Offer non-judgmental support always.
-Model and encourage healthy bonding, connection, and understanding.
-Provide education on pregnancy, the birth process, and methods of postpartum care.
-Provide continuous, uninterrupted care for you and your family.
-Recognize birth as a sacred process that can transform your life.
-Assist in the transition to your new role as a parent by providing guidance, performing light housework, and caring for your baby.
-Join your family at the hospital and assist when you need comfort and support. They will stay close during labor and immediately after birth to  provide breastfeeding guidance.
-Provide newborn care, postpartum adjustments, and observe newborn development.
-Provide lactation support and evidence based information on infant feeding and overall health.

What training do doulas receive?

Red Birth Green doulas receive an in-depth and trauma-informed education on the history and ethics of birth work, anatomy, CPR/First Aid, labor stages/progression, communication, leadership, wellbeing, postpartum care, emotional support, newborn care and more!

What sets RBG doulas apart from other birthworkers?

RBG doulas are trained in cultural humility and stay up to date on doula best practices.  The entire Red Birth Green team and doulas meet regularly each month to collaborate and share information.  
RBG doulas come from a variety of backgrounds with different specialties and expertise like: Zulu belly binding, herbalism, yoni/womb health, infant massage, baby-wearing, pregnancy and newborn welcoming rites, and ancestral birth preparation practices.

How much does a doula cost?

We believe that every family that wants a doula should get one.  Red Birth Green is structured as a Pay What You Can Model, which allows us to provide affordable and equitable care for every family.  We also offer assistance.

Can I pick my doula? 

You will be matched with the doula who will best suit the birth experience you would like and has availability around your due date.  If you already know your doula and they have agreed to care for you, we will match you without question.

Doula Training

What kind of training does RBG offer?

RBG’s doula training is structured in 7 domains: 

-Introduction to Birthwork
-Ethics & Professionalism
-Communication & Active Listening
-Practical Training
-Leadership
-Caring for Self
-Cultural Humility & Awareness

Each of the domains contains modules and assessments which fully encompass the Red Birth Green method of pregnancy and postpartum care such as Supporting Self Advocacy, Pregnancy Progress & Anatomical Changes, and Support Maneuvers.  Our training runs in seasonal cohorts led by the Red Birth Green team and our Executive Director, Kama Mitchell.

Who can become a doula?

ANYONE can become a doula.  You don’t have to have any specific credentials or education to train with us.  We only ask that you go into our doula training with an open mind and a heart for our community.

Will I have a mentor?

Absolutely! Each of our trainees will be connected with an experienced doula mentor to support their learning process and hands-on training.

How do I find clients?

That’s the easy part! Red Birth Green receives service requests from many different places.  We will provide your client assignments and assist you in making those early connections.

Service Request

If you have any other questions or inquiries,
you can email redbirthgreen@rootead.org.