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.

History of The Black Midwife

I’ve been doing some reading and video watching lately. Since I want to become a midwife someday I wanted to know where the black midwife originated.
I came across this great article titled Black Midwives, From Africa to Now.

Here is a clip from the article.

Unlike the history of Anglo- midwifery, midwives of African descent have an origin and a story of her own. A history that is deep rooted in the culture of her ancestors of hundreds of generations from across the waters, which survived the middle passage of slave trading, bringing with them their knowledge of birth and medicinal botanical roots. In many African villages there was not just one particular woman who was known as the Midwife of her village. That is why it is difficult to find an African translation to the word midwife. Birthing was looked on as being women’s work and older women who had given birth before assisted another during labor. Oftentimes it would simply be the birthing woman’s mother or grandmother and other women to help. Only if there were difficulty would someone else be called in, (usually the medicine man). Other than him, it was considered a taboo for a man to be in the hut of a birthing mother (including the father). It wasn’t until slavery on the plantation, that women were appointed as midwives based on their knowledge and familiarity of woman craft.

Also this article from Mothering.com The Legacy of Black Midwives, originally posted in 2007. It talks about Shafia Monroe and  how she became a midwife and founded the well known ICTC program which  stands for International Center for Traditional Childbearing.

ICTC is an infant mortality prevention, breastfeeding promotion, and midwife training non-profit organization