November 29, 2018

What started as an idea, metamorphosed into a day of intention and a space with great history filled with Black women activists, researchers, birth workers, visionaries and clinicians collectively sick and tired of being sick and tired. Tired we were, but invigorated we felt. On a dewy Sunday morning, I stood in a circle of 18 strong, all locking hands. Breathing slowly in ...and then...

November 19, 2018

On November 20th, those of us who support movements to save black and trans lives, remember the black trans women and men whose lives and deaths testify to the intersections of transphobia and racism. But what happens when the mourning is over? Too often black trans faces are hyper-visible when we are memorializing those we have lost, but missing at other times. And trans people are al...

In April 2018, the Black Mamas Matter Alliance sponsored the first ever Black Maternal Awareness week to highlight the shameful tragedy of preventable maternal deaths of women during childbirth – a burden disproportionally experienced by Black women. This event was the culmination of a conversation that many have been having amongst themselves including birth workers, clinicians, resea...

April 13, 2016

Black Women Birthing Justice invites you to join the conversation about our new book Birthing Justice. Every two weeks, we will post a new chapter from the book on our blog alongside messages from the editors and contributors. Readers are invited to read the chapter, and comment on the questions from the Discussion Guide in the space below this blog. Please indicate your name and locat...

February 4, 2016

Birth justice – obstetric violence – dehumanized care – respectful maternity care – why do we have these conversations?

 

Globally there are far too many incidents of disrespect and violations to women and their families during pregnancy, labor and birth. Although there is little actual data available the stories are all too familiar. In the Caribbean region, women accessing care are too...

November 20, 2015

 

 

 

On November 17, 2015, World Prematurity Day, a landmark initiative was launched at the University of California, San Francisco, the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi). Worldwide 1 in 9 babies are born too soon (prematurely) and Black babies are most likely to not reach their first birthday. Black and Hispanic women are three times and two times more likely than White women to expe...

April 20, 2015

 


I became a first time mother at the age of 29 and prior to that my hubby and I were very excited to start our family. As starry eyed beginners we started reading every parenting and childbirth book we could get our hands on, and as our due date rolled closer, we took every childbirth and lactation class we could take.  We were going to be winners at childrearing!  

 

I g...

March 31, 2015

 

A Midwife’s Perspective 

 

For over twenty years, I have worked with the Harlem Birth Action Committee to activate, agitate and educate women and their families about the over-medicalization of childbirth. Last year, I took a sabbatical and was honored to have the opportunity to accept a three-month nurse-midwifery fellowship in Somaliland, East Africa.

 

Somaliland is an autonomous regio...

March 24, 2015

 

My awakening to birth injustice began thousands of miles away from my hood of Baltimore City where we see some of the poorest birth outcomes in America. It happened in Ghana, West Africa. 

 

I moved to Ghana in 1999 after working for years as a midwifery apprentice. I felt a strong desire to learn traditional childbirth rituals and customs from African midwives. After a year in the...

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