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June 19, 2017 33 min

Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for Women of Color – PMHAWOC

Here are three powerhouse women who have come together to co-found a beautiful and needed organization focusing on perinatal mental health for women of color. This is what closing the gaps and supporting women of color, in a BIG way, looks like. Divya Kumar, Desiree Israel and Jabina Coleman are doing outstanding work.

Please listen in, connect with PMHAWOC, learn about the work that's being done and what still needs to be done. Also, connect with each of the co-founders individually via their contact info listed below.

In this episode, we all get to learn about these women and the amazing work that the organization is doing. They touch on:

*Stats in perinatal mental health for women of color

*How stigma, political & social systems affect the experience of pregnancy and postpartum women of color

*Discrepancies in treatment for women of color

*Racial Trauma, racism, class and inherent resilience 

*Providing a safe space that is inclusive for women of color and healthcare providers of color.

*Collaboration with Postpartum Support International 

*Projects, training, research, resources and more.

*Using culturally affirming approaches

I hope you all are as excited as I am about this amazing and powerful organization.

Connect here:


Divya B. Kumar


Divya is a South Asian American woman who holds a Masters in Public Health and is a certified lactation counselor. Her work connects postpartum support with public health by addressing unmet needs in the structure and delivery of perinatal support services. In 2013, she helped create a postpartum depression prevention pilot program in four community health centers in Massachusetts and currently provides comprehensive perinatal support at Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center. She is a Commissioner on the Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression and also co-founded the Every Mother Project, an organization that provides training and support for women’s health professionals around addressing perinatal emotional complications. A writer and a truth-teller, Divya brings a fresh voice, compassion, and humor to her work with new families. She lives in Jamaica Plain, MA with her husband and two children.

Connect with Divya:

Desiree Israel


Through her own journey into motherhood, Desirée knows just how far compassion can go. With a foundation of authenticity, integrity and fully understanding the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” Desirée works each day to assist women in their own journeys and understanding through motherhood, postpartum support and healing. As a licensed social worker, Usui Reiki II practitioner and perinatal psychotherapist in Baltimore, MD, and the owner of her private practice, Postpartum Recovery, Desirée assists women decipher the funk of motherhood through integrative and eclectic therapeutic modalities. When she's not tending to her two sons, Desiree is a volunteer for Postpartum Support International and board member for 2020 Mom Project.

Connect with Desiree:



Instagram: @pprecovery

Twitter: @DLIsrael

Jabina Coleman


She makes breastfeeding a habit and a hobby. Jabina, a mother of two, Licensed Social Worker and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant has dedicated more than a decade of her life to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. Jabina focuses a lot of her work on educating women, families and the community to make informed decision about breastfeeding. She empowers women to trust their bodies throughout the perinatal period and provides guidance during the process. She specializes in perinatal mood disorders and helping women and families adjust to motherhood and parenting. Jabina lives in the Philadelphia, PA area.

Connect with Jabina:

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