Some of you may know that I’ve become very excited about the world of natural birth. Mixed in with this excitement has been tons of frustration with the lack of information and support in my community for a natural birth. Well since being pregnant with Bean I’ve been trying to figure out how I can contribute to the world of birthing. I’ve toyed with the idea of being a midwife, doula, childbirth educator or lactation consultant. I’ve had many conversations with some old classmates and women who are currently contributing to this world of birthing.
There is so much information out there and so many training courses that it was hard to make a decision. Plus trying to figure out what type of commitment I was willing to make was important as well. I completely understand that there is a need for more African-American Doulas and Midwives, especially with the infant mortality rates that are unbelievably high. I just don’t KNOW if I’m ready to take that leap right now. With 2 small children at home I think I would have a hard time leaving them at any given time (in the middle of the night is my biggest concern) to attend a birth. I know I know women do it all the time and my hat goes off to them, I’m just not sure if I am ready for that.
So after many conversations I have made a decision to start off by getting certified as a Lamaze Childbirth Educator. WOOHOO! It has taken 2 years to make a decision and I think part of that hesitation was me being in my own way. Not sure if I was ready for the responsibility that comes with such a role, not sure if I would be able to make a good enough impact. After working with teen moms and new moms in an urban community for the last 6 months with the googled, Facebooked knowledge, info from documentaries and birthing workshops and of course my own experiences that I’ve been able to share, I KNOW I’m ready to take on this responsibility. There are so many questions and so many myths and misinformed women, families and communities. I’m ready to contribute to changing this and helping women get enough information to make informed decisions and feel equipped enough to advocate for the birth they want AND to believe in themselves and their bodies’ capabilities.
So I must say thank you to the following people for the encouragement and answering may many, many, many questions (probably repetitive) over the past 2 years: Aza Nedhari, Asasiya Muhammad, Lakisha Dennis, Thalla-Marie Choxi, Jill Wadnick, Ina May Gaskin, Irina Ventura and of course my family. Your words have stayed with me ladies and I can’t thank you enough for doing what you do and encouraging me as you mother your own children while giving women encouragement and knowledge nonstop!! Keep it going!!
I will begin my journey at a weekend long seminar at the end of September and spend the following 7 months prepping for the certification exam in April. My goal is to become a childbirth educator then a lactation consultant and eventually a doula. Here’s to informed women, families and communities AND happy, healthy mamas and babies no matter what your ethnic and economic status is.