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.

Reports Say Black Women Don’t Breastfeed… #BlkBfing

My Son - Samuel. Breastfeeding at 21 months old.

My Son – Samuel. Breastfeeding at 21 months old.

I am so happy to share with you this list of black women who breastfeed! If you check the current data on black women and breastfeeding you’ll most likely find reports saying that we do not breastfeed, we have the lowest rates, we only breastfeed for 3-6 months, etc.

I would like to know where are the studies talking about the black women that do breastfeed?

There are websites, Facebook pages, Twitter Accounts and Blogs dedicated to Black Women Breastfeeding. I’m not saying the data is wrong, but I don’t believe it’s as dire as they claim it to be either.

I know that black women breastfeed, and the evidence is right here on this website.

Some women chose to list how many children and for how long they breastfed. Some chose not to, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean they didn’t breastfeed for a certain amount of time, they simply chose not to include that information. This list includes black women from all walks of life. Mama’s to one child, some to three, and six children. Married mama’s, single mama’s…some work, others stay home. Some nursed for 6 months – while others tandem nursed for years. Some used donor milk – others induced lactation.

Lets get started…





Jatika – and her cousin Shanetra.

@lawgurl both children

Dee 4 children: Last one currently nursing now over 2 yrs old.

Melek: Battled through biting issues and low supply from 9 months until he weaned at 12 months.

Dianthe: Breastfeeding for 4 years…on 2nd baby and tandem nursed for a year.

Monique: 13 months and counting! her mom, cousins and aunts also breastfed their children.

Angela: Breastfed all four of her children.

Natasha: 29 months and counting!

Sylvia: Tandem nursed 2.5 yr old and 3.5 yr old until she was 7 months pregnant. She weaned them at that time and is now nursing her 3rd baby.

Tiffony: Breasted my two for 2.5 years each. Was breast fed by my mom until age 3.

Jamita: nursing for almost 6 yrs. 2 yrs w/Myles, 2.5 yrs w/Myla and currently nursing Mylex 14 months.

Tamika: Breastfed for 27 months until she had to have oral surgery and was placed on medications for it.

Tiffany: Breastfed both of her older children, and planning to breastfeed her newest arrival as well.

Kimberly: Breastfed her first until he was 27 months, and currently nursing her 19 month old.

Kimberley: Induced lactation and breastfed two adopted daughters. Her oldest breastfed for 13 months but continued to receive breastmilk until she was 28mos. Her youngest breastfed for 10 mos but continues to receive breastmilk and she is 14 mos. They both come off the breast when they were teething, milk not coming fast enough and constant biting. Side note: They both received donor milk PAID FOR by Medicaid.

Pamela: Breastfeeding her son at 14 months. She plans to continue until he is 18 months.

Michelle: Currently breastfeeding her three-month old.

Tiffany C.: Breastfed her first till she was 14 months old; her second till she was 21 months old; and plans to breastfeed her new baby as long as we can!

Chalis: Breast fed her 1st for almost a year (14 years ago) & currently breastfeeding her 4 month old!

Kimberly D.: Breastfed her first until she was 3 yrs, her second until he was 3 yrs, her third until she was 3 yrs, her fourth until she was 4 yrs, her fifth until he was 4.5 yrs, and currently bf her 6th who is almost 6 months old♥

Courtney: Nursed her son until about age 25 mo, planning to let the baby still in the oven self wean.

Kornika: 10 months and counting!

Bianca: Breastfed for 6 months.

Rashanna: Breast fed all three of hers; 8 months was the longest.

Sheril: Breastfed five for a year each!

Kristal: Not only was she a breastfeeding peer helper for the WIC office, she also nursed her FAB 5…. One for 3 years… Breast ONLY!

Adiaha: breastfed two daughters. One for 2.5 yrs and the other up until one week before her third birthday.

Kanyla: happily breastfeeding for 7 months and plans to continue until her baby girl is ready to stop

I also breastfed all three of my children. My first for 10 months, my 2nd for 29 months and my 3rd 21 months and counting! At the time of this post 2/27/13 I have been breastfeeding for 34 months AND we made the cover of the 2013 breastfeeding calendar from Birth Routes.

Black Women Do Breastfeed is a Blog/Facebook page is about making the community of black breastfeeding moms visible. If you’re on Twitter follow along @BlkWmnDoBF.

Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association is a non-profit organization increasing awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding throughout the African-American community. Follow them on Twitter @BMBFA.

Blacktating features Breastfeeding news and views from a mom of color. Elita’s blog was talked about on TMZ! Check out the post here. Follow her on Twitter @Blacktating.

Did you know that Michelle Obama breastfed her daughters? Erykah Badu has breastfed all of her children and is seen breastfeeding her daughter in one of her music videos.

Then, there is this video on Black Women Breastfeeding: A Multi-generational Story.

As you can see, there are plenty of black women breastfeeding. Thousands even! We have since the beginning of time, and will continue to do so.

When I put the call out for women to have their name included I wasn’t shocked by the response, but very happy and excited that so many of you responded. Thank you so much to all who shared with us!

If you breastfed your child would you please leave a comment for others to see that black women do indeed breastfeed.

This post originally appeared as a guest post on Free To Breastfeed: Voices From Black Mothers on 2/29/12


I am happy to join ROSE(Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere) and Moms Rising in getting the word out on Black Women Breastfeeding for Black History Month. Read the other Making HERstory blog posts!

On Wednesday, February 27th, the “Blk BFing: Making HERstory” Twitter chat will take place with the hashtag #BlkBfing. To participate, search for #BlkBfing and join in the tweeting!

Black Infant Mortality and Your Responsibility

Welcome to the Third 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: Infant Mortality Awareness: Saving OUR Babies. Many birth workers are talking about the alarming infant mortality rates in this country, but none are talking about infant mortality in the Black Community. That’s where this Blog Carnival comes in. We will talk about statistics, try to figure out why, and most importantly what we can do to help lower our infant mortality rates.
This post will be updated with live links by Noon, linking back to the other participants posts.



If you haven’t heard by now, September is infant mortality awareness month. And if you haven’t seen the statistics yet, here is a brief overview from the Center of Minority Health….Black babies are 2-3 times more likely to die than white babies, or babies of any other ethnicity.
Maybe you’ve heard that it’s only happening to the poor black women living in the inner cities with little to no education, it’s because of poor health, lack of proper prenatal care.

Wouldn’t it be simple if that were true? Then we could all say “well their economic status has nothing to do with me” and keep it moving. That way the responsibility doesn’t fall on us. The truth is that myself, a black doctor, or a black woman living in the poorest conditions imaginable have one thing in common….we are all black women. That one factor puts us all at the same risk for losing one of our babies before their first birthday.

I have given birth to three full-term babies, all attended by white midwives, and I had proper prenatal care. My first two midwives were a little tough to deal with. I was always on edge with them and I felt completely abandoned by my first midwife. My 2nd birth the midwife seemed to not really like me towards the end of my pregnancy and while I was in labor. During my first two pregnancies I always wondered if I was treated so poorly because I was black.  The third was a dream and I’ve recommended her to several of my friends. I’m so grateful for my healthy children but sometimes wonder what it is exactly that causes another black woman to lose her child? I guess You could say its a luck of the draw between myself and the woman in this video.

More and more evidence is coming to light that racism has a significant impact on infant mortality.
As black women in this country, we are exposed to racism in the womb and it continues throughout our entire lives. I’ve heard stories of black mothers not getting breastfeeding help in the hospital because “it’s a well known fact that Black women do not breastfeed” but we know this isn’t true. I’ve heard of black women receiving less than prenatal care because “black women are super fertile and we don’t know how to keep our legs closed.” Then there’s the cashier that peers at you over the counter making sure you don’t steal anything. All of these things cause a great deal of stress on mother and baby and we all know that stress can literally kill you.

There is no excuse for the United States of America to have the infant mortality rate that it does, and there is no excuse for Black babies to die by the thousands because of racism in this country. Not when we have such an intelligent and classy Black First Lady(the first in history)and not when Blacks are fast becoming the majority population in this country.
It’s time to stop harping on black single moms, teenage moms, and black women in general. Talk is cheap and if we really want to help lower the infant mortality rate in our community  we need to band together and learn how to take care of our own.

Black women usually feel more comfortable being in the care of someone they can relate to on many levels….and this is why we need more Black Midwives, Doulas, Childbirth Educators, and Lactation Consultants. We need parenting classes that are centered on the black community being taught by black men and women.
We need groups like the Midwives Alliance of North America to recognize what a loss it is to the community to lose their entire board of Midwives of Color.

We need to create our own villages and offer support to allmothers and their unborn child. If you are pro-life then you need to sit back and think about what that really means. Are you really pro-life or just anti-abortion? To me pro-life means caring for that life before and after it’s born in every way. Are you willing to go above and beyond for your fellow sister and this child that she’s carrying? Will you cook, organize birth and breastfeeding support groups? Will you go out into your communities to serve and support that 16yr old carrying the baby that you disapprove of because she’s not married? She needs all the love and support she can get right now!  She needs to know that she is not a screw up and her life is not over….she needs to know there is a village of black women who are willing and more than ready to help meet the needs of her and her child(ren).

You don’t have to be a midwife to apply the Midwives Model of Care.
Take that statement and see how you can use it to best serve your community. It’s time that we say enough is enough-we need to work together to save OUR babies.


Please take the time to visit the other participants posts. They are very thought-provoking and each woman has written about amazing solutions for lowering the Infant Mortality rate in the Black Community.

Amy: Health Programming and It’s Impact on Black Infant Mortality. Guest Post on Musings From The Mind of Sista Midwife.

Darcel: Black Infant Mortality and Your Responsibility. The Mahogany Way Birth Cafe

Nicole: Stop The Talking… Implement SOLUTIONS! Sista Midwife Productions

Darline Turner-Lee: Standing For Little Brown Babies By Supporting Their Mothers. Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond

#BlackBirth Carnival Call For Submissions: Infant Mortality Awareness – Saving OUR Babies

Hello and Welcome to the Third Edition of the Black Birth Blog Carnival: Infant Mortality Awareness – Saving OUR Babies. Hosted by Darcel of The Mahogany Way Birth Cafe and Nicole of Musings From The Mind of Sista Midwife. The Black Birth Carnival has been amazing in so many ways. Whether you participate by blogging, or sharing on various social networks, we thank you for joining us in talking about and celebrating Black Birth.

Have you missed the previous Black Birth Carnivals? If so you can read the first installment – Birthing While Black and the second installment, Not Without Our Fathers  now.

While we normally hold the carnival on the 2nd Tuesday ofthe month, we will run this carnival on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, September 18th in order to give respect to those affected by September 11th.

It’s no secret that the Black Community has the highest rate of infant mortality. Black babies are more than two times more likely to die than White babies before their first birthday. A very sobering statistic. There are MANY causes for this disparity, including low birth weight, prematurity, SUIDS(sudden unexplained infant death syndrome), maternal complications, lack of prenatal care, and even racism.
If you search the internet you will find article after article on our high infant mortality rates.While the numbers are good to know and helps us learn, there don’t appear to be many articles on ways to reduce Black Infant Mortality from the perspective of Black women and men. That’s where this blog carnival comes in!

We are inviting you to share with us your thoughts on infant mortality in the Black Community. When did you first become aware of infant mortality rates in the black community? Did you even know it was a concern? Do you know the rates for your specific state or country? What do you think will help to lower our infant mortality rates? Does your birth community do anything special for the month of September for Infant Mortality Awareness Month? How can we raise awareness and make our voices heard on this very important subject? What can we do as a community to save OUR babies? We want to hear from you!
No voice is too small to be heard! If you are a black mother, or father we want to hear from you. Don’t have a blog and want to write? We can host you on one of our blogs.

You do not have to answer all of the questions above in your post, we are just throwing out possible writing prompts.

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 on Tuesday September 18thh.  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“perfectpost” 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, september 11th Be sure to put September 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 Saturday, September 15th. 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 18th. We are excited about this new Blog Carnival and we look forward to receiving your submissions.

In Birth and Love Darcel & Nicole
Follow us on Twitter @MahoganyWayMama  & @Sistamidwife
Twitter hashtag #BlackBirth