“Birthing Diversity in Seattle: Modelling Innovative Perinatal Care at the Intersection of Risks, Resources and Resilience to Improve Maternal/Infant Outcomes in Underserved Urban Communities.”

Focus group with Somali doulas and birth educators around a table
Birthing Diversity, Focus Group with Doulas and Birth Educators
2017-2019        Principal Investigator. Royalty Research Fund, UW Office of Research. “Birthing Diversity in Seattle: Modelling Innovative Perinatal Care at the Intersection of Risks, Resources and Resilience to Improve Maternal/Infant Outcomes in Underserved Urban Communities.”

COMMUNITY PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Muna Osman, Ph.D. Nursing, UW

PROJECT ROOTS:  This project emerges out of a series of community relationships and advocacy partnership efforts, that culminated in the implementation of an innovative perinatal care and education model in immigrant/refugee communities in south Seattle.  We completed community-led, community-directed and community-based participatory action research documenting perceptions, preferences, practices of perinatal health-seeking in the Somali community.  We learned about forms of resilience and resources among women in these communities who are carrying some of the heaviest burdens of negative reproductive outcomes in Seattle’s most diverse and under-served neighborhoods.  Working as a team, now equipped to answer their own health research questions, we identified barriers and facilitators to perinatal and birth care-seeking and service-utilization.  This information led to a community-directed project implementing ideas in a service delivery model that took into account everything we learned.  We are still exploring what works, and what does not.  It is exciting, and we are proud to be part of this collective effort.