Posts Tagged With: Doula

Birthwork and Me!

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?

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Yup…I’m grateful!!

Day 83:
I had a great conversation with one of my co-workers today about parenting and just life. Thanks Demetria!! She’s always full of positive energy and inspiration.
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Day 84:
Today I got to share the wonderful gift of human milk with a friend who just adopted a baby girl. And I had an extremely productive day that ended with a full out dance party with my boy Bean in the driveway!! His shoulder moves are OFF THE CHAIN!!

Day 85:
Great Facebook marketing training. I’m telling you, so much is happening via social media and it can be time consuming to REALLY make it work for you business or organization BUT the reward can be amazing.

Day 86:
Bean is learning to read and was able to recognize a few words in his new book. #proudmom
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Day 87:
I’m grateful for all the supports of my organization, Youth ALIVE!, and the donations that were made during our fundraiser at Ethnic Arts tonight. I was very nervous about MCing for my first fundraiser ever but it went well, I learned a lot and got great feedback and constructive criticism. I count my blessings EVERY time I get to hear my co-workers talk about what they do out in the community. Cheers to you all who make Youth ALIVE! so amaaazing.

Day 88:
When I got home from day 2 of my doula training and I saw Bean at the top of the steps, he turned to his babysitter and said, with tons if excitement as he jumped up and down, MOMMY IS A DOULA!! I love his excitement and constant support!!

Day 89:
I completed my birth doula training! br />
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Doula or No Doula? Hmm!?!?

Now with baby number 2 on the way and more knowledge about the birthing world I am now debating whether I should have a doula for this birth or not. As much as I’d love to have a home birth I can’t afford it πŸ˜’ and my insurance will cover the cost of a midwife as long as she is under an OB (womp womp). So I’ll be giving birth in a birthing center in a hospital, Morristown. I’m pretty excited about this hospital so far. I hear its like going to the spa, I would love to be in a spa-state-of-mind while giving birth. They even give a FREE massage to all new moms before they leave. Oh yeah!

Any way, since I’ll be in a hospital and have a midwife (plus probably my mom, aunt, at least 1sistercousin, possibly my brother and can’t forget about hubby present [yeah we roll deep😊]) will I REALLY NEED a doula? Part of me says “sure, why not have that passionate person present”, although I share loads of info with my fam, a doula brings a different type of support. Plus adding a doula to the fam gives me an opportunity to add to the positive stats of women (especially of color) using doulas and committing to positive natural birth experiences.

After reading The Loation Commotion post Free (Doula & Placenta Pills) is for Me about hiring a doula-in-training FOR FREE, I’m even more inclined to enlist the services of a doula. I’ll get to help add another woman to the assisted birthing world (doulas are required to attend a certain number of births before they can receive their certification). Plus I’m sure I’ll learn even more about birthing. I’m still kind of thinking about becoming a doula some time in the near future. Brown skin doulas are hard to come by and SO needed!!

The only negative not so positive thing I can think of is adding one more person to the room. But this could be so worth it!! Hhmmm Decisions…decisions.

Did you have a doula present at your birth? What would you recommend? Do you know any doulas-in-training?

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