As a way to bring more consciousness around the world of birthing. I’d like to feature something birth related each week. Shooting for Wednesdays. This will help me share and learn as I study so please tell me what you think (and know) and ask questions which will lead me on a search for even more answers. This should be kind of fun, empowering and insightful.
So let me start by sharing WHY I’ve decided to be a part of the village of birthworkers.
Black babies and mamas are dying at a much higher rate (almost 3x) than whites and Latinos and I believe this can change. I strongly believe that with more information about the history of birth among our people, rights as it relates to birth, support from each other and options in regards to caregivers, we can change things around.
While I was pregnant with both of my boys I was surprised and often hurt by the amount of negativity that was shared from all over, my doctor, some friends, coworkers, strangers you name it. It seemed like people just HAD to share a negative experience. WHAT THE HECK!! I just got to the point where I would just stop people in the middle of their story and politely say “I’m not even allowing that energy in my space”. I was constantly frustrated by having to leave my community in Newark, NJ to find support groups for breastfeeding, natural birth or just positive remarks.
After giving birth I loved (and still love) to share my experience because they were both positive. And yes my first boy was born in what is referred to as a ‘hood hospital AND I still had a great experience. The thing is, even with my positive story people still had negative things to say. Again WHAT THE HECK!! So I started sharing more about the facts and a little about the history that I was learning just so I could answer some questions or have a positive feedback for a negative comment. I started to realize that many of my peers were simply afraid and continuously being fed myths and reasons to fear birth and not trust their bodies. So I’ve decided to make a commitment to myself and my community to contribute to this world of birth in hopes of getting our community back to trusting our bodies, respecting our power and supporting each other.
As I continue to learn I am realizing how political this world of birthing is and how important it is to be aware of the injustices that are causing so many disparities. So I’m going to use this space as a place to share what I’m learning and hopefully start a few conversations that will normalize natural birth (or at least birth with no unnecessary medical interventions), breastfeeding, the right to choose how to birth or to birth at all and maybe, just maybe, more people in the black community will spread the word and fewer babies and mamas will die. I strongly believe that a woman’s birth experience affects the way she and her partner/community is allowed to raise her child.
So I welcome you all to participate! Are you currently a birth worker? If so how do you contribute to this work?