Rachel Chapman
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On a recent Saturday evening, a dozen women gathered around a table at a community room in the White Center neighborhood of Seattle, settling in with snacks and conversation.

The evening’s program would be more education than entertainment, an opportunity to discuss topics so sensitive that, without the group of women assembled that night, might not be discussed at all.

Against one wall of the room, a model of the female reproductive system. Standing before them, a doula, one of three medical professionals from the Somali community there for that night’s installment of Mama Amaan, a series of lessons on prenatal and postpartum care, designed with and for Somali women.

Part grassroots service, part research project exploring the effectiveness of a culturally sensitive health care intervention, Mama Amaan (Somali for “safe motherhood”) is a partnership between the Somali Health Board of Tukwila and the University of Washington. The goal: to test the feasibility of a community-developed and run program of pre- and postnatal care services.

With the support of a grant from the UW Population Health Initiative, Mama Amaan brings together women in five different locations around South Seattle and South King County for monthly lessons in the physical, mental and emotional issues of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum life.

Read the entire story at UW News. Rachel Chapman, Associate Professor of Global Health, is quoted.