white privilege

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"

Evidence Based Birth: Vulnerable Populations and Racial Disparities in Childbirth

In this video, you will learn why black women and babies in America are dying at higher rates in childbirth than white women.

Learning Outcomes: Describe disparities in birth outcomes for women of color and other vulnerable populations .

Discuss systemic racism/oppression and the effects on birthing women of color References and Resources: This lecture is part of a larger continuing education course on evidence based care called "How to Help Families get Evidence Based Care," found at www.evidencebasedbirth.com/classes

March of Dimes summary of racial disparity statistics: http://www.marchofdimes.org/materials... Most recent maternal mortality rates in the U.S.:

http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth... Nuru Jeter (2009). “It’s the skin you’re in.” Matern Child Health 13(1): 29-39. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti... Willis et al. (2014).

“Conquering racial disparities in perinatal outcomes.” Clin Perinatol 41: 847-75. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2...

White Privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh http://hd.ingham.org/Portals/HD/White...

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