Midwifery and Racial Oppression, #BlkBFing Chat Highlights, Black Women and Medicaid Podcast and More!


I’m going to try my best to post weekly/bi-weekly links to articles I come across. I forget that not everyone uses Facebook and Twitter, and that’s where I post most of the things I come across.

Anti-Racism and Anti- Oppression Work In Midwifery – Letter To Midwifery Today: Real Talk About Midwifery and Racial Oppression.
This powerful letter was collaboratively drafted by 97 BirthWorkers from around the globe.

While the article is gone from the Midwifery Today site, the discussion it has engendered is too important to disappear without a trace. It is important to us that your readers understand why the comparison between the anti-slavery struggle and the midwifery movement is wrong and profoundly hurtful. Even more than this, however, we hope to show that the struggle to provide a full range of birthing options must address our history of racial oppression if we really want to change birth in this country.

ChildBirth Connection Transforming Maternity Care – Urge Women To Question Elective Deliveries.

Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor or cesarean deliveries before 39 weeks 0 days gestational age.

MomsRising Blog – Breastfeeding: Obesity, Diabetes and Asthma Prevention.

Breastfeeding decreases the risks for obesity, diabetes and asthma. As a nephrology social worker, I see firsthand the consequences of obesity that can lead to diabetes and ultimately chronic kidney disease.

Healthy Black Women – Podcast on Why Black Women Should Care About Medicaid and It’s Expansion.

Twitter – #BlkBFing Twitter Chat Highlights.

Every Mother Counts via Jennie Joseph – Black History Month: Midwifery Matters.

As a Black midwife, newly arrived in 1989, I had no understanding of the history or legacy of midwifery in the USA, let alone the foundational role that African-American midwives played in the provision of maternity care for both Black and White women from slavery on upwards.

Infant and Maternal Mortality in the Black Community. When Will You Care?

I found this article this on infant and maternal mortality in the Black Community. They study focused on California and New York, but the issues highlighted run deep all over this country.

I liked the article and linked to it on Facebook and Twitter. I love that instead of the same old drivel about the rate being 2-4 times higher than that of white mothers and babies, they actually discussed the why, how, and what we can do to start working on this issue.

This Facebook page picked it up and shared it. You know what happened? It sat there for 3+ hours with no comments, not one like. You could say oh, it’s just Facebook, don’t get your panties in a bunch. This is the same as walking past a pregnant or laboring woman in trouble and doing absolutely nothing!

Don’t really know why I’m so surprised. This same thing keeps happening in various ways.

Here’s an example of one.

There was the ‘Get Karen There’ to send a white woman and her staff to Haiti. They went Beyond their goal…over $1000.
There was also the ‘Atlanta Bellies Project’ They reached $30.

I’m not a Doula, student midwife, or anything close. I’m a Black mother of three Black children, two girls and one boy. I don’t have a lot of money, infact, economically speaking….I would be considered poor.

I really want to know when will you care? When it’s your friend, someone you work with? When your son ends up with your half black grandchild? When you end up pregnant with a half black child?

When will you see these posts, statistics, articles, and do something about it? How can you call yourself a birth worker, or birth activist, and sit by while innocent black babies die at an alarming rate?

When will you be able to step outside of yourself to help a community and movement you claim to care so much about? Or is it that you only care when it concerns you?
You can say it doesn’t matter because we all bleed red, but it matters a lot.
You say your all about mothers and babies, but the truth is, as long as they aren’t black mothers and babies.

Racism plays a direct role in infant and maternal health. Simply being a Black Women puts me at risk, it puts my friends and our daughters at risk.

What is it going to take? We as a Black Community are going back to taking care of our own. Unfortunately it’s worse than climbing an uphill battle.
We take a step forward and someone sits at the top trying to knock us down. It really makes me sick.

Like someone said several months ago…”when allies fail.”
Things like the entire board of Black Midwives resign when allies fail.

I wish I had the time, money, and resources so I could do more. I’m one woman, one mother, doing what I can. Instances like this make me want to throw my hands up and leave me wondering why do I even bother?

Are Men at Birth Important?

Welcome to the Second Edition of the  Black Birth Carnival. Hosted by Darcel of  The Mahogany Way Birth Cafe and Nicole of Musings From The Mind of Sista Midwife.
The Topic: Not Without Our Fathers. So often we talk birth in women circles. We celebrate birth within the feminine community and forget that without the fathers our birth experiences would be non existent. June 17th marks the day many will celebrate fathers in this country. With that in mind we came up with our topic for this installment of the Black Birth Blog Carnival.
This post you will be updated with live links by Noon, linking back to the other participants posts.


When you think of birth, you automatically think of mother and
baby. Birth is all about the woman’s journey and transformation. We talk about how the woman can prepare her body mind and soul for birth, but we rarely think about the men. They need to prepare, and they go through a journey as well. Men have an idea of how the birth will play out just like women do.

Not too long ago men weren’t allowed to be in the room during birth. Now it’s expected for them to be present. Obstetrician Michel Odent said that a man has no place at the birth. I understand some of his theories and observations, but I don’t agree with him.

I think it’s great that so many men want to be involved in the birth process. They have the choice to be as hands on or off as they choose. Some men want to catch the baby, while others prefer to simply be a presence in the room, or fall in between. It’s up to the individual couple.

Do you ever wonder how a man feels if the birth wasn’t what he expected? What about when a woman has a traumatic birth? Men are affected by that! They just may not talk about it like we do.

Birth is so powerful and spiritual…. magical even!

I loved Charles being present and participating more and more in the births of our children. I relied heavily on him, especially during the last two. He was really great. I loved knowing that he was there for me no matter what I needed. You can’t witness a birth and leave the same way you came in before that experience.

Have you ever listened to a father tell the birth story from his perspective? The joy in their eyes, the excitement in their voice, the look on their face….you know the one…they can’t believe they were witness to such an event.

I believe that if a man is able to, he should submerge himself as much as he’s comfortable with in the pregnancy and birth. This is a great post on why men are needed for more than support during labor and birth.

We all know that Fathers are important in our day-to-day lives, why wouldn’t they be equally as important during a birth?

What do you think? Are men at birth important, or should they leave it all up to the women?


Please take the time to read and comment on the other participants posts. 


 Shahmet at Adia Publishing: A Father Before Birth

Reggie at WhatrUWorkinon?: They’re All Miracles

Nicole at Musings From The Mind of Sista Midwife:  #BlackBirth Not Without Our Fathers

Darcel at The Mahogany Way Birth Cafe: Are Men at Birth Important?

Alexis at The Ivy Expansion: A Fathers Love

Mavhu at F.W. Hargrove: I Birth At Home

Twitter Hashtag #BlackBirth

#BlackBirth Blog Carnival Call For Submissions… Not Without Our Fathers

#BlackBirth… It is indeed a beautiful thing. And here with the Black Birth Blog Carnival we want to continue to celebrate it. The Black Birth Blog Carnival is hosted by Darcel of Mahoganyway Birth Café and Nicole Deggins blogging as Sista Midwife. We were so excited about the love, support, and feedback we received from the first installment of the Black Birth Blog Carnival that we can’t wait to read the submissions this time around. The topic for this carnival: #BlackBirth… Not without Our Fathers.

So often we talk birth in women circles. We celebrate birth within the feminine community and forget that without the fathers our birth experiences would be non existent. June 17th marks the day many will celebrate fathers in this country. With that in mind we came up with our topic for this installment of the Black Birth Blog Carnival.

Fathers are essential to the #BlackBirth story. Without them, the fathers of our children, there would be no birth. Some fathers are there at the beginning of our experience and absent from our birth stories. Some are ever present with strong hands, a loving heart, and a gentleness that we may have never known before that moment. No matter the role he played, we want to hear about how the father of your baby impacted your birth. How did his involvement or lack thereof affect your birth choices and your childbirth experience? How about YOUR father… did he impact your birth?

Now here is a twist… Calling all men to the Carnival of Black Birth… Are you a man that would like to celebrate what #BlackBirth means to you? Do you have a birth story to share? We would LOVE to get your unique perspective.

Lastly, and certainly not least, perhaps you don’t have a personal experience you would like to share at all. Do you know of a father that has been a part of and/or impacted black birth in other ways? No matter the story… we wanna read it. We want to celebrate Black Birth and celebrate the fathers that make them possible. Submit your stories today for our next carnival #BlackBirth… Not Without Our Fathers.

What is a Blog Carnival
A blog carnival is a collection of blog posts from a variety of bloggers on a particular subject, published on the same day. This blog carnival will be published/go live Tuesday June 12th. In addition to posting his/her article, each blogger provides links to all of the other posts submitted. Because of this, blog carnivals are a great way to learn about other fabulous bloggers. They give you an opportunity to connect with others and have the potential to increase traffic to your blog. If you do not have a personal blog and want to participate, please email us ASAP at BlackBirthCarnival at gmail dot com so that we can find a host blog for your article submission.

Guidelines and Instructions for Submissions
We are looking for posts that are well written, informative, thought provoking and relevant to the theme of the carnival. We prefer that you submit a new, unpublished post for the carnival however, if you feel you have the “perfect post” that has been previously published we will accept it.

Please email your post to us at BlackBirthCarnival at gmail dot com no later than Tuesday, June  5th. Be sure to put June Carnival in the subject line of the email and don’t forget to give us the title of your post. We cannot accept your submission without a title.

You will receive an HTML code with instructions via email no later than June 3rd. You will need to place this code in your blog post so that you will link up with all of the other blogs participating in the carnival.For the success of the carnival, it’s important that you add this code. Please do not publish your post until after midnight on the 12th. We are excited about this new Blog Carnival and we look forward to receiving your submissions.

Here is the first installment of the Black Birth Carnival: Birthing While Black.

In Birth and Love Darcel & Nicole Follow us on Twitter & Let’s Celebrate #BlackBirth @MahoganyWayMama & @SistaMidwife