Why I chose this work
I dove head first into doula training after I began really educating myself on the racial disparity that exists in birth and the postpartum time for Black birthing people VS white ones. Here in New York, Black birthing people are 12x more likely to die then white ones. This is due to both medical racism and racial weathering. Black people in America have the highest birthing death rate and Black Babies have the highest infant mortality rate. In my research, I learned that a very large percentage of this death and medical negligence happens in the postpartum time period- that that particular time is when Black people are very vulnerable and often very alone. Warning signs are missed or purposefully ignored, and Black people often fall through the cracks, this is why my favorite doula work is the postpartum time. And with my birth clients I try to work with the idea in my mind that the things I do now will impact how they heal in post, so if possible, I try to set up rings of support, resources, and little ways to keep clients feeling like they are seen and have ways to protect themselves in the after, even if we do not work together in the postpartum time as well.
Birth and postpartum is sacred and Most Black people (especially those here in America) don’t get to feel loved on, catered to, and like they matter during that time. Nor do most get time to rest and properly heal. So as much as I got into this work because of the stats and because I want to advocate for Black folks, I also got in this because I want to help teach Black people who have access that it is okay to rest. I want Black people to be able to find joy in these beautiful moments that can also be so scary and traumatic because of the color of our skin. Black babies should be welcomed into the world in less chaotic and terrifying circumstances. And those of us in this work and those of us not in this work need to fight everyday to protect Black birthing people and Black babies - because if we can not advocate, uplift, and protect Black people at this most vulnerable time - at the very beginning of life- how can we fight for much else?