EPISODE 10

Finding Joy for Black Birth Workers:

Black Doulas Speak Out.

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Season 2, Episode 10: Finding Joy for Black Birth Workers: Black Doulas Speak Out.

Episode Description: The truth is, while we wait for the medical system to confront and change its dangerous practices, it’s Black birth workers who are picking up the pieces of the infant and maternal health crisis. Doulas, midwives, and community workers punch the clock day in and day out to ensure we survive and thrive in our birthing experiences, but who’s taking care of them? In this special roundtable discussion, Kimberly sits down with Black women doulas from around the country who are leading the charge for better compensation and representation on a legislative level all while trying to care for themselves and their fellow sisters in birth work. Pull up a seat. You don’t want to miss this much-needed conversation about the state of joy in Black birth work.

Resources/References

  • Ancient Song Doula Services is a national birth justice organization aimed at eliminating maternal and infant mortality and morbidity among Black and Latinx people. The organization offers doula training and services, community education, and advocates for reproductive health-related policy change. 
  • Frontline Doulas is a Los Angeles County-based perinatal health program that connects Black families with Black doulas. The organization offers free doula support to local families and a no-cost Doula Hotline that supports families nationwide. 
  • Urban Perinatal Education Center is a Rhode Island-based organization seeking to change the way families experience perinatal health, education, and services. 
  • Black Women Birthing Justice is a grass-roots collective based in Oakland, California working to transform birthing experiences for Black women and birthing people.  
  • Crafted by doulas and their families, policymakers, healthcare providers, and legislators, The Rhode Island Doula Reimbursement Act was signed into law in 2021 to ensure doulas are covered by insurance. 
  • Doulas in California will officially be covered by the state’s Medi-Cal public health insurance program beginning in January 2023. For more information, visit California’s Department of Health Care Services
  • Research shows that doula care improves perinatal and postpartum outcomes for birthing people. A study conducted in 2013 found that mothers who were supported by doulas were four times less likely to have a low birth weight baby, two times less likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their infant, and much more likely to breastfeed. Another study, published in 2016, found that doula-assisted women were 22% less likely to birth a preterm baby. Those women were also less likely to have a cesarean section.
  • Interested in having a doula and/or midwife for your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum period? Here are resources for finding Black midwives, doulas, lactation consultants, and other perinatal specialists of color: Sista Midwife Directory, The Bridge, and National Black Doulas Association.
  • Download Irth, the only app where you can find prenatal, birthing, postpartum, and pediatric reviews of care from Black and brown birthing people. Leave a review today to help inform and protect others! Search reviews to empower yourself. 
  • Learn more about having a safe and empowered birth by downloading the free ebook: Birth with Irth: A Mini-Manual to Pregnancy and Childbirth for Black People.
  • For Black breastfeeding resources, visit Black Breastfeeding Week, Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA), and Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE).
  • Catch up on episode extras from seasons 1 and 2 on BIRTHRIGHT’S YOUTUBE PAGE!
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  • Get full episode details and transcripts on www.BirthrightPodcast.com 
  • Join the movement for equity in birth and breastfeeding by supporting our Patreon account. As a member, you’ll get access to exclusive bonus content, Birthright swag, and more! 
  • Follow Kimberly Seals Allers on Twitter on Instagram: @iamKSealsAllers
  • Birthright is funded by the California Health Care Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund.

About

Chanel Porchia Albert is the founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ancient Song Doula Services; a reproductive health organization focused on providing resources and full-spectrum doula services to women of color and marginalized communities throughout NYC and northern New Jersey. Her work within infant and maternal health have led her across the globe to Uganda, where she has served as a maternal health strategist in rural war-torn areas. Her work in birth and reproductive justice continues to span into the research and methods of care of marginalized people and people of color bringing a human rights framework into birthing rooms and beyond into institutional reform and accountability measures within healthcare to address implicit bias and racism. Chanel and Ancient Song’s work has been featured on CNN’s Champions for Change, the cover of Working Mother Magazine, NY Times, SELF Magazine, and most recently NowThis and Vogue Magazine. When she is not working on legislative policy or facilitating workshops, you can find her spending time with her six children.

 

Dr. Sayida Peprah-Wilson is both a Psychologist and a Doula. An advocate for human rights in childbirth, she is a member of the Black Women Birthing Justice Collective and a Movement Partner with the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, promoting research, education, and community-based services to positively transform the birthing experiences of black families. Dr. Sayida supports community doula efforts as a co-director of the Frontline Doulas and Sankofa Birthworkers Collective, in Southern California. Dr. Sayida is the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization Diversity Uplifts, Inc., focusing on fostering diversity and supporting diverse communities and the providers who serve them.

 

Quatia Osorio is Quatia Osorio BSBA, BS HSM, CCHW, CLC, MCHS, MCCHW, CPE Doula is a Rhode Island native born and raised. Bryant University graduate, certified community health worker, certified lactation counselor, community birth and postpartum doula, maternal certified community health worker, and certified childbirth educator. She founded and currently runs the Urban Perinatal Education Center and the RI Perinatal Doula Agency. She is the Founder of Our Journ3i, LLC,  a perinatal community-led, based wellness center focusing on eliminating health determinants of communities of color through maternal support, education, advocacy, and awareness. She is the Lead Facilitator of Chocolate Milk Cafe RI, a Black breastfeeding support group. She is a HealthConnectOne Birth Equity Leader and CityMatCH CityLeader in Rhode Island. A Maternal Child Health Advocate, she currently continues her studies to become a Certified Midwife.

 

Linda Jones is a Birth and Postpartum Doula, Photographer, and mother of two, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of four, who lives in Oakland, CA. She founded and owned Waddle and Swaddle Baby Boutique and Birth Resource Center in Berkeley, CA from 2000 to 2010 and has been a part of the natural birth advocacy and reproductive justice community in the Bay Area for over three decades. She was one of the founders of a volunteer Doula group that provided services for low-income, uninsured, and teen moms that birthed with midwives at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley in 1991. She is one of the co-founders of Black Women Birthing Justice (BWBJ) and is co-author of Battling Over Birth; Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis in California.

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