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Oloye Yeye Alaweye Ifashike Sauleiha Akangbe

Sauleiha Akangbe was born into an African-American of enslaved descent  family with a rich cultural heritage. She was taught to respect and love all religions and races. From a young age, she learned to honor her ancestors and was surrounded by traditional Yoruba songs and Orisha dances. As she matured, her desire to learn more grew, leading her to Africa, where she discovered a deep connection to her roots. Elders recognized her as "a child who has returned home" and through her rites of passages she received the name Iyanifa Ifashike (Apetebi Ifashike Ogun) and was later crowned chief or Oloye Yeye Alaweye (to wash to success). Sauleiha offers community and healing for birthworkers and clients, sharing her knowledge of traditional teachings, songs, dances, meals, and rituals. She continues to study with powerful priests and priestesses in Nigeria and the Diaspora, guiding others with love and respect. Embrace your journey of cultural actualization with Iyanifa Ifashike.

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My ancestral heritage, cultural background, life experiences and elders qualify me to do this work.

Professional Background

I am a fourth-generation birth-worker with 13 years of progressively earned expertise in doula-supported
decolonized birth for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) giving birth in hospital acute
settings. I combine my education, skillset, and lived experience as a Black/African American
woman to address birth inequity within hospitals through integration of the wisdom and
knowledge of the broader birth/postpartum community. I am a highly respected and involved
community organizer with experience building partnerships with community-based organizations
to ensure community representation of Black/African American, African, and Native American
birthing women, people, and families. In April 2023, the King County Black Birth worker
community recognized me as the Shero for Birth work in our community. I work closely with
hospital leadership and medical care provider stakeholders (nurses, midwives, and physicians) to
address medical racism and poor health outcomes for Black and POC birthing communities. I also lead
and mentor Black and POC doulas and community health workers in acute settings. I have clinical doula
expertise that includes labor and delivery soothing techniques; prenatal/birth/postpartum and
lactation education in Black communities; postpartum support including family and birthing
person education; sleep techniques; and newborn education. Within my roles, I created the Swedish Postpartum Doula Program which is the first integrated postpartum doula hospital service in our country where I normalized culturally
responsive and congruent services within the hospital. I then created the Black Birth Empowerment Initiative (BBEI), which influenced culturally affirming/congruent birth and postpartum doula practices and services within one of the largest birthing hospitals in our country; integrating community and empowering Black people in the
hospital. The Black Birth Empowerment Initiative later grew into the Justice Unity Support Trust (JUST) Birth Network. Alongside the work I do at the hospital institutions in America, I also practice as a

traditional midwife (Agbebi) in Nigeria. With my continued work in Nigeria, I have created
educational pathways through a retreat for Black and Brown birth workers to return to Nigeria to
study indigenous doula practices outside of Western ideology to create a solid foundation for
their practices in America.

Education/Highlights

08/2023

Chieftency Instalation Oloye Yeye Alaweye

Certificate of Honorary Doctorate, Osogbo Nigeria

08/2023

04/2023

SHERO Award, USA

03/2021

Perinatal and Infant Loss

Advocate (PAIL) Course, USA

03/2021

The B.L.A.C.K Course, USA

06/2019

Fly Tree Midwifery, Seattle,
WA

11/2018

Ifaponle Olomowewe, Osogbo,
Nigeria

08/2018

SMC Full Circle Certification, Portland, OR

04/2017

International Center for
Traditional Childbearing,
Portland, OR

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