midwife

Black Student Midwives Speak Series

DoulaChronicles was created so that a platform to share education related to birth with the main audience being Black and Brown folks existed. I created what I needed to see when I entered this birth worker journey. Disclaimer, i'm not a writer so bare with me. But I’ve been wanting to voice some issues I’ve been witnessing since transitioning from a Doula to a Student Midwife. Every week (sometimes daily) I am reading a new article online about how unsafe it is for black women to birth in this country. I am tired, so tired of people writing about us dying in childbirth without to a solution. Places with healthier outcomes utilize Midwives so why aren’t we? Why are there less than 2% of black Midwives when prior to birthing in Hospitals enslaved Africans delivered both white and Black babies? Why can’t our community access us anymore? In my eyes, these statistics are intentional.

I interviewed several Black student Midwives about the complexities and barriers that are in place today that keep us from serving our communities like national midwifery organizations and schools that further perpetuate the white supremacy and anti-black policies that eradicated our Granny Midwives. We’re in schools without Black and Brown Midwives preceptors. Our curriculums don’t include practices and traditions on how we can serve our community. Our counterpart/white “sister” students refuse to do the work in allyship and solidarity. And collectives that control how we learn, where we learn and how we get licensure are constantly making it more difficult for women of color to become Midwives without consulting us. We’re dying in massive numbers that should be noted as a national crisis. Again, in my eyes this is all intentional.

Please check out interviews from Black student midwives following this post. Search "Black Student Midwife"

Tatia DC Event: Role of the Birthing Community in Improving U.S. Maternity Care

On May 1, The Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation held an educational event in Washington, DC focused on highlighting the role of the birthing community in improving U.S. Maternity Care. The event included a screening of the documentary “Tatia’s Story: From Life to Death in 10 Hours,” and a panel discussion among maternal health experts and leaders in the birthing community regarding the issues of racial disparities in maternal mortality, the importance of being fully informed, and the dangers of using Cytotec for labor induction.

 

Speakers and panelists included: Nan Strauss of Choices in Childbirth, Tina Johnson of American College of Nurse-Midwives, Jennie Joseph of Commonsense Childbirth, Claudia Booker of Birthing Hands Midwifery and Birthing Services, and Maddy Oden, Executive Director of the Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation

Birthing, Blackness, and the Body: Black Midwives and Experiential Continuities of Institutional Racism

by Keisha La'Nesha Goode Graduate Center, City University of New York

In honor of #BlackMaternalHealthWeek18 I wanted to share a published dissertation I found on Midwife Shafia Monroes website that I've been reading and studying non stop for a few days now. I truly appreciate Keisha's research and attention to this subject. Very rarely do we detour the conversation on Black Maternal Health away from "call your senators!" and "Townhalls" and put our energy and finances into realistic solutions we have access to at this moment. Black Midwives are underutilized  and Keisha explains how and why in 215 pages

Watch: The granny midwives who birthed untold numbers of babies in the rural South

A tradition of black, lay midwifery dating back to slavery

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Mary Coley was among the last generation of granny midwives providing care to pregnant women across the rural South. These women were indispensable at a time when hospitals were often out of reach, and they have a history of service to their community. Thanks to a 1952 informational documentary filmed for the Georgia Department of Public Health, we can observe Coley at work and delight at the new lives she so carefully brings into the world. How did this tradition become completely eradicated?

 

Giving birth during hurricane Irma under emergency situation

A Guide for Pregnant Women, Parents, Supporters, First Responders and Good Samaritans by Florida based midwife Jennie Joseph. Follow the simple steps outlined below when 911, emergency services or medical assistance is not immediately available.

Download PDF here

Jennie Joseph  is a British-trained midwife, a women’s health advocate, the founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. and the creator of  The JJ Way® . She moved to the United States in 1989 and began a journey that has culminated in the formation of an innovative maternal child healthcare system,  markedly improving  birth outcomes for women in Central Florida.  Jennie has worked extensively in European hospitals, American birth centers, clinics and homebirth environments. She has been instrumental in the regulation of Florida midwives since the 1990’s and has been involved in midwifery education since 1995. She is the former chair of Florida’s State Council of Licensed Midwives. Currently she owns a Florida licensed midwifery school attached to The Birth Place, her nationally renowned birth center and maternity medical home in Winter Garden, Florida.  Due to the high prematurity rates experienced by low income and uninsured women she established an outreach clinic for pregnant women who are at risk of not receiving prenatal care. Her  ‘ Easy Access’   Prenatal Care Clinics offer quality maternity care for  all,  regardless of their choice of delivery-site or ability to pay, and have successfully reduced both maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in Central Florida.  The Birth Place  offers a unique opportunity for pregnant women to  choose  the site, setting and type of provider for their prenatal care and the delivery of their baby. Working in partnership with women by raising their status from patient to client, Jennie has empowered them to be proactive about their treatment and care. Fathers, family members, and friends are brought in as part of the mother’s team and engaged in the goal of helping her achieve a healthy, full-term pregnancy.  Jennie has pressed for linkages and collaboration with other public and private agencies in an effort to maintain continuity of care for the safety of her clients but also in order to bridge the gap between America’s maternity care practitioners. She has developed and administers perinatal professional training and certification programs to address the health care provider shortage, diversify the maternal child health (MCH) workforce and address persistent racial and class disparities in birth outcomes. There are both quantitative and qualitative studies underway regarding Jennie’s work as well as continuous reviews of the impact of her clinical and educational programs. Jennie’s model of health care,  The JJ Way® , provides an evidence-based system to deliver MCH services which improve health, reduce costs and produce better outcomes all round.  Jennie Joseph has built up a reputation across the United States and has given numerous presentations, including a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, in order to discuss the statistical data as well as describe practical solutions to improving birth outcomes. Jennie is a regular presenter at maternal child health conferences and organizations; she has a leadership position amongst US and international midwives movements and is a subject matter expert on racial and perinatal disparities in the USA.  Jennie firmly believes in patient-centered, woman-centered care and works tirelessly to support the systems, providers and agencies charged with delivering that type of care. “Until women and their loved ones feel that they have enough knowledge and agency to be part of the decisions around their care and until they have access to the education and support that they are lacking, they will continue to be at risk.”-Jennie Joseph   To have Jennie speak at your event or for training and consulting needs please email  speaker@jenniejoseph.com

Jennie Joseph is a British-trained midwife, a women’s health advocate, the founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. and the creator of The JJ Way®. She moved to the United States in 1989 and began a journey that has culminated in the formation of an innovative maternal child healthcare system, markedly improving birth outcomes for women in Central Florida.

Jennie has worked extensively in European hospitals, American birth centers, clinics and homebirth environments. She has been instrumental in the regulation of Florida midwives since the 1990’s and has been involved in midwifery education since 1995. She is the former chair of Florida’s State Council of Licensed Midwives. Currently she owns a Florida licensed midwifery school attached to The Birth Place, her nationally renowned birth center and maternity medical home in Winter Garden, Florida.

Due to the high prematurity rates experienced by low income and uninsured women she established an outreach clinic for pregnant women who are at risk of not receiving prenatal care. Her Easy Access’ Prenatal Care Clinics offer quality maternity care for all, regardless of their choice of delivery-site or ability to pay, and have successfully reduced both maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in Central Florida. The Birth Place offers a unique opportunity for pregnant women to choose the site, setting and type of provider for their prenatal care and the delivery of their baby. Working in partnership with women by raising their status from patient to client, Jennie has empowered them to be proactive about their treatment and care. Fathers, family members, and friends are brought in as part of the mother’s team and engaged in the goal of helping her achieve a healthy, full-term pregnancy.

Jennie has pressed for linkages and collaboration with other public and private agencies in an effort to maintain continuity of care for the safety of her clients but also in order to bridge the gap between America’s maternity care practitioners. She has developed and administers perinatal professional training and certification programs to address the health care provider shortage, diversify the maternal child health (MCH) workforce and address persistent racial and class disparities in birth outcomes. There are both quantitative and qualitative studies underway regarding Jennie’s work as well as continuous reviews of the impact of her clinical and educational programs. Jennie’s model of health care, The JJ Way®, provides an evidence-based system to deliver MCH services which improve health, reduce costs and produce better outcomes all round.

Jennie Joseph has built up a reputation across the United States and has given numerous presentations, including a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, in order to discuss the statistical data as well as describe practical solutions to improving birth outcomes. Jennie is a regular presenter at maternal child health conferences and organizations; she has a leadership position amongst US and international midwives movements and is a subject matter expert on racial and perinatal disparities in the USA.

Jennie firmly believes in patient-centered, woman-centered care and works tirelessly to support the systems, providers and agencies charged with delivering that type of care. “Until women and their loved ones feel that they have enough knowledge and agency to be part of the decisions around their care and until they have access to the education and support that they are lacking, they will continue to be at risk.”-Jennie Joseph

To have Jennie speak at your event or for training and consulting needs please email speaker@jenniejoseph.com

Birth From a Baby's Perspective

Carmen Mojica , also known as Ynanna Djehuty, is an Afro-Dominicana born and raised in the Bronx. She is a midwife, writer and reproductive health activist. The focus of her work is on the empowerment of women and people of the African Diaspora, specifically discussing the Afro-Latina identity. She utilizes her experience as a midwife to raise awareness on maternal and infant health for women, highlighting the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States for women of color.

Carmen Mojica, also known as Ynanna Djehuty, is an Afro-Dominicana born and raised in the Bronx. She is a midwife, writer and reproductive health activist. The focus of her work is on the empowerment of women and people of the African Diaspora, specifically discussing the Afro-Latina identity. She utilizes her experience as a midwife to raise awareness on maternal and infant health for women, highlighting the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States for women of color.

What White Midwives Can Do To Be Better Accomplices in Birth Justice

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By Marea Goodman, LM, CPM

1. Educate ourselves (and each other) about racism.

2. Understand the internalized and institutional realities that families of color face in maternity/midwifery care. 

3. Understand models of care already created by people of color that are addressing these issues in your community

4. When working with families of color, check our privilege.

5. Consider referring clients of color to midwives of color.

6. Support financially.

7. Say no to midwifery tourism.

8. Talk to your white clients about race and racism.

9. Avoid culturally-appropriative names for our practices. 

10. Teach midwifery skills to students of color.

11. Build relationships with birth workers of color in your area, and follow their lead.

12. Continue to do active anti-racism work in your life, for yourself.

Read more here

A Midwife’s Herb Garden: Six Plants Women Used To Help Other Women

By Rachel Goldsmith

A midwife’s job is to nurture both mother and child during labor. Doulas who attend women throughout their experience of pregnancy share similar responsibilities. Nurturing women’s well-being. Pruning away their fears. It seems natural that such practitioners would develop a lot of skills in common with gardeners.

The green witch is the traditional midwife, and it fell to her to provide remedies for everything from cramps to hot flashes. If you have an interest in the medicinal side of plants, you will find that an understanding of the herbs of women’s healing is essential. Here are six plants with long histories that are still grown and used today.

Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus)

 

This leaf is an indispensable herb for the expectant mother. It is believed to help strengthen the muscles of the uterus, and is therefore recommended for the last trimester to prepare the womb for its marathon of life giving agony. Many doulas give it as a tea during the early stages of labor. It is considered safe for use by most women, as it only strengthens and tones the muscles, rather than inducing them to contract.

Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)

 

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Indigenous to America, this plant has been used for unknown ages by Native American women. It is useful for a wide range of women’s complaints. It’s both estrogenic and a suppressor of the luteinizing hormone, and so it can help with hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. It stimulates the uterus to contract, so it can bring on a sluggish period, and some say even shorten its length. Because of this quality, it is contraindicated in pregnancy.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)

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Pennyroyal is a member of the familiar and populous mint family. It is another emmenagogue, meaning that it can bring on delayed menses by causing the uterus to expel its contents. It thins the uterine lining, and so makes a woman’s period a less painful, smoother process. Because of its ability to cause the womb to contract, it is also classified as an abortifacient. It should not be used during a wanted pregnancy, and its use to terminate an unwanted one should be attended by an experienced herbalist. It can be lethal in doses high enough to be effective for abortion.

Read more Here