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Indigenous BirthKeepers

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About Hummingbird Indigenous BirthKeepers

Hummingbird Indigenous BirthKeepers is a culturally responsive, full spectrum, Indigenous doula program providing free-of-cost services to pregnant people who identify as American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AI/AN/NH/PI) living in King County.

We also provide family planning support and perinatal education through culturally relevant doula care, thereby reducing the personal, cultural, and systemic barriers that disproportionately affect Indigenous parents while strengthening the bond between parents and connections to the community.
Two parents and their infant
Whether you found us on your own or heard about us from a community member, here are the things we’ll need to get started:
  • Do you identify as Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander?
  • What is your tribal or community affiliation?
  • Where do you live? We serve all of King County; letting us know your city and neighborhood is very helpful.
  • When is your estimated due date? This is important in order for us to make sure we have room for another family due around that time.
  • Where are you planning to give birth (which hospital/birth center or are you planning a home birth)?
  • Let us know any other details and questions you want to share with us.
  • Please provide your phone number and the best time to reach you.
  • If you are reaching out to us for choice counseling, abortion care, pregnancy loss support or lactation support, we will get back to you within 24hrs.
  • If you are seeking pregnancy, birth, postpartum or family planning support, expect to hear from us within a few days from submitting your request to learn more about our program.

Schedule a call with us

Prior to our initial call, please review our Client Services Agreement (no need to fill out) to get an idea of what doula care is like with Hummingbird Indigenous Doulas. During that initial call, we will discuss any additional questions you might have. If after that initial call, you decide to enroll for services, we will schedule an intake appointment to get more details about your specific needs and desired goals with your work with us. The intake appointment is generally about an hour and a half long and can be done via phone, virtual call or in-person.

As with all our programs, participation is voluntary. You can enroll and exit at any time.
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What is a BirthKeeper?

The simplest way to describe a BirthKeeper is an Auntie or relative. Indigenous BirthKeepers provide continuous and unconditional mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual support during the perinatal period.

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Doula Services

Indigenous BirthKeeper Full Spectrum Services

Prenatal, postpartum, pregnancy loss, and abortion care

We care for people across the reproductive spectrum – whether you're seeking prenatal and/or postpartum care, lactation support, experiencing a pregnancy loss, considering abortion, needing abortion care or needing family planning support. Our training and lived experience enables us to provide emotional, educational and physical support.

As Indigenous BirthKeepers, we hope that families in our care feel seen and loved as their whole selves.
Prenatal Care

Whether a pregnant person enrolls in our program in their first trimester or right before their estimated due date, we offer home visits as often as every other week. During the 3rd trimester, we offer home visits as often as every week if needed. During a home visit, which is usually about an hour long (but sometimes a little bit longer), clients can discuss medical provider updates with their doula and anything else going on in their lives. We take time to honor and recognize not only their challenges but also their accomplishments.

Home visits can include childbirth education and lactation education. If clients prefer group classes, we can help them sign up for BIPOC centered group classes. During home visits, we get to discuss narratives from their families of origin regarding birth traditions and lactation histories. We can begin healing from cycles of trauma AND celebrate our relatives’ resilience and strength.

Labor and Birth Support

During our work together, our goal is to prepare families to know what to do as their labor approaches:

  • Know that it’s ok to text or call us more frequently towards the end of their pregnancy for questions or concerns.
  • Know that it’s ok to call in the middle of the night if you think you are in labor! We love getting texts but it won’t wake us up in the middle of the night. Please call if you need to reach us immediately and need support.
  • Know that we expect to join you to labor at home for a little while prior to heading to the hospital or birth center.
  • Know that we expect to support you as soon as you’re ready for us to come over for your home birth (we usually get there hours before the midwife arrives).
  • Know that however your birth unfolds, we love you like A/unties and will support you throughout the entire labor and birth process.
Postpartum Care

Our goal is to have our first postpartum home visit between day 3 to day 5 post-birth. Our colostrum begins to transition to mature milk during this time so clients might need extra lactation support. Depending on our caseload, our doulas usually visit the family once or twice a week. Visits can be up to 4 hours long. We can usually provide more visits if the client is recovering from a cesarean birth. We help with light household tasks: tidying up the kitchen, help with laundry, organize baby clothes and meal support. Many times, the new parent(s) want to shower or nap at some point during our visits. We’ll watch over baby so they can have that time for themselves.

Indigenous Lactation Counseling

We can bring all the teas, broth and traditional foods to help keep the lactating parent hydrated and nourished. During the first few weeks postpartum, home visits and phone check-ins are usually mostly about lactation support. During this time, clients can expect to practice different nursing positions and troubleshoot any difficulties about latch and milk supply with their doula. We help loved-ones understand that lactating parents need support around the clock – make sure they always have snacks and something to drink, help with additional pillows to help position baby for a proper latch and be ready with encouraging words and affection. Remember that oxytocin, the “love” hormone that fueled our labor contractions, helps our milk flow!

Choice Counseling, Abortion Care, Pregnancy Loss and Family Planning

This care is tailored to your specific needs. If you decide to reach out to us, we can discuss your situation and formulate a care plan during our intake call. Our goal is to support you without judgment.

“I want you to know how much your care and support in this time has made a real difference in my experience. I feel more capable of caring for myself and of healing, and that is such a gift at a time when everything feels so tender.”

Abortion care client via email

Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services is a reproductive justice organization, and we support families in their right to have children, to not have children, and to raise those children in safe and healthy environments.

Perinatal Peer Counseling Support

Coming soon!

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“It's hard to put into words, but I felt held and supported in a way I had never experienced. Having care where we didn't have to explain our values, practices, culture and queerness was life changing. I honestly couldn't have dreamed of this when we were thinking of what we wanted or needed going into this pregnancy and birth. To be able to receive the medical information, support navigating it and also have traditional practices/teachings and Indigenous culture-centered [care] in all of it was amazing.”
Client via semi-annual survey
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Meet our BirthKeepers

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