She was of the Quraish tribe on her father's side. According to the traditions,she migrated to Abyssinia with her first husband, after being persecuted by the Polytheists of Mecca. Her husband died when the couple returned to Mecca. 
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) married her in Shawwal, in the tenth year of His Prophethood, a few days after the death of Khadijah. Prior to that, she was married to a paternal cousin of hers called As-Sakran bin ‘Amr 
At some point, Sawda succeeded in persuading the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) not to divorce her. The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) favored young Aisha over old Sawda, but the latter stopped him in the street and implored him to take her back. As an argument, she offered to give her turn of the Prophet Muhammad's conjugal visit (Allah bless him and give him peace) to Aisha. The incident is referenced in verse 4:127 of the Qur'an.
After the Prophet Muhammad's death (Allah bless him and give him peace), Sawda received a gift of money, which she spent on charity. Muawiyah I, the first caliph of the Umayyad dynasty bought her house in Medina for 180,000 dirhams. She died in Medina in October 674.
The name of her previous husband was Sakran, and she had a son from him named Sakran ibn Amr ibn Abd Shams who fell a martyr fighting in the Battle of Jalula