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Birth Stories in Color

Author: Laurel Gourrier & Danielle Jackson

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Birth Stories in Color is a podcast for Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latino, and Multiracial individuals to share their birthing experiences - a space that specifically celebrates, mourns with and supports them and their transformation through birth.

Birth Stories in Color also emphasizes the role of storytelling as a way to equip future parents. Listening to real birth stories is one way to discover the expected and unexpected parts of the journey.

We realize that there are birth stories not being heard. Our hope is that all who share and listen find this platform to be a community near and far, and an invaluable resource for navigating their own journey.
107 Episodes
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An unexpectedly easy pregnancy led Shay and Joshua through a journey of exploration and intention setting that would create a backdrop for a pregnancy and birthing experience that would be become a love letter for their daughter.Shay and Joshua chose to announce their pregnancy to a few select people. They managed to keep their happy secret despite Shay's work on social media that often finds her sharing much of her personal life. Their journey to parenthood was marked by detailed preparations that included observing other families, nutrition planning, hiring a doula and midwife, and taking deep dives into researching what felt right for them.Shay spent time writing letters to both her unborn daughter and her husband, offering her reflections and gratitude for them. They serve as documents filled with the hope that their daughter would have a glimpse into who her mother is or was at the time of her pregnancy and their daughter's effect on their lives.Their family learned that all of the best intentions could not stop a global pandemic from shifting aspects of their birth plan, like having a doula present in the hospital. But they were already determined to focus on the "controllables," as Shay coined it. They managed to labor at the hospital but shifted to a surgical birth with brought much anxiety for Shay. She was deeply aware of the challenges that Black women have had in birthing spaces. Joshua stayed positive as he expected all to go well. Relying on ancestral knowledge of Black women being the first birthing people.Since giving birth, Shay has become more aware of her own needs and openly communicates with Joshua. She has been able to lean into his care and ask for it when needed. Communication has been the key to managing their new parenthood journey.Resources:Mine-R-T Doula Company | labor coach for pregnant individuals and couples in Charlotte, North Carolina and surrounding areas
May is Maternal Mental Health Month. When we finished recording Hiwote's story and sitting in processing with her, we knew her story aligned with the awareness this month brings forth. Hiwote's story carries the heavy parts that we often hear of - the weight of being a Black birthing person, navigating a medical system that isn't designed to support us. There is birth trauma in this story.Sharing on BSiC was the first time Hiwote would be reflecting on her experience aloud. Her story highlights the disparities of the Black and Immigrant community - how our experiences are not monolithic but often intertwined. The lack of research for treating mental health within the immigrant community. And how impactful our cultural practices and traditions can be to our healing and mental health.Birth is sacred, and our birth stories live with us forever embedded in our very being. In finding the BSiC space, Hiwote was ready to release this part of her journey. What she received at the end of sharing was the beginning of healing—being able to start a new as she and her husband expand their family once again.Resources:Her Holistic Path | birth support and birth photography available for Maryland and D.C. 
Dae joined us to share her beautifully intertwined birth stories of loss and joy reclaimed. She experienced the unexpected loss of her first child during the early part of her third trimester. She began a healing journey that included therapy, where she started journaling. The process proved therapeutic and taught her how to make space for herself and rebuild her trust in God.Dae worked through the waves of grief and discovered she was pregnant again; this time, it was during a pandemic. She gathered her team, created an active morning routine, and simply chose to enjoy the pregnancy. They planned for a birth at home and put in the work to make it happen by hiring a midwife and doula. After managing through over 20 hours of labor, they decided to transition to the hospital. She continued to labor without progressing and found herself at peace at how birth would unfold and welcomed her son via surgical birth.Postpartum proved to be challenging after the unplanned surgical birth as healing required being in the space of stillness and relying on her husband. She eventually worked through the challenges and settled into accepting help. Dae began working on her body through chiropractic care and pelvic health therapy.Dae has adopted a belief of motherhood as a joyous experience. She has developed a community online that has centered the scripture referencing beauty for ashes. She is now holding space for women who have experienced some form of loss and want to exchange that grief for a new experience of joy and beauty.Resources:Dae Hayes | mindset coach and spiritual strategistTherapy for Black Girls | an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls.
Ashly was 18 years old when she was pregnant and birthed her first child. Reflecting, she expresses that she didn't know much, either about the preparation or what her experience could be like. Ashly and her partner flowed through, just trying to figure it all out. Her birth would include many shifts, and one that she felt lost in was bringing her baby earthside with a surgical birth.When she began expanding her family again, she knew she wanted and deserved a different story. The moment she and her husband found out they were expecting, she began building her birth team - this included a doula from a local organization ROOTT and a black OB. The three of them worked together and filled in the gaps for each other when one couldn't hold a particular space for her. The support from her birth team surrounded her in not only care but also her whole family, allowing them to support Ashly in having the VBACs she had envisioned.Throughout her journey, Ashly had to learn to extend grace to herself. In the moments that seemed out of her control, but especially in the moments that made her feel whole, and in each new stage of postpartum, she knows that has to be at the core - working on who she is outside of her kids, sharing " If I'm not whole, then what I'm giving them isn't the best of me." This being the part of her journey requiring the most grace.Resources:Luke Warm Ginger Tea | a holistic moms journey through love, motherhood, and walking in her very own divine femininitySponsors:Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOTT) | reproductive justice organizationROOTT is a collective of concerned Black families, community members, advocates & interdisciplinary professionals dedicated to decreasing Black maternal & infant mortality in Ohio. ROOTT’s mission is to comprehensively restore our collective well-being through collaboration, resource allocation, research & re-empowerment, in order to meet the needs of Black parents & families. If you and your family are planning, pregnant, or in your postpartum period, please reach out to ROOTT at www.roottrj.org. Financial assistance is available. You can also connect with ROOTT at 614-398-1766 or email general-info@roottrj.org
Shanicia Boswell, a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, reflected on the birth of her daughter. She recalls feeling like getting pregnant at 22 was like getting pregnant in high school. Her friends were busy continuing their education and traveling. She remembered not feeling accepted or treated well due to being young, Black, and unmarried. She knew that she wanted an unmedicated water birth and discovered that her hospital did not offer that opportunity. Shanicia boldly changed providers at 28 weeks gestation to match her personal birth preferences. When labor ensued, Shanicia found herself in awe of the birthing process and the wonder of her own body. She safely rode the wave, and her labor produced a beautiful baby girl without complications. As postpartum began, Shanicia’s mother stepped in to provide in-home support and helped with the transition. She experienced the “baby blues” as her body and mind had to reconnect and take on a new life.Shanicia has channeled her pregnancy and parenting experiences from the lens of a Black woman into a career. Her latest project is a pregnancy book, Oh Sis, You’re Pregnant: The Ultimate Guide to Black Pregnancy and Motherhood, that flows through all of the ways we can prepare our minds and bodies for childbirth and the forever postpartum period. There are African birth traditions, detailed health concerns that tend to affect Black bodies more frequently, space for Black women to see themselves, and there is joy - a joy that fits the occasion of the blessing of a new life.Resources:Black Moms Blog | parenting, culture, and lifestyle from a Black mom’s point of viewOh Sis, You’re Pregnant! | the ultimate guide to black pregnancy & motherhoodNational Black Doulas Association | connects Black birthing families with Black Doulas nationwideROOTT | reproductive justice organizationSista Midwife Productions | birth advocacy organization based in New Orleans, LAAncient Song Doula Services | international doula certifying organizationSMC Full Circle Doula Training | training in pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum doula care
Layo's childhood planted the seed for Wolomi. Growing up in Nigeria and DC, the joy of community support during one's expansion of family was a part of her everyday life, as her mother supported friends and family as a midwife. Taking the lessons of these experiences with her into her career as a nurse in America, a reality set in that what she had seen with reproductive care was not the standard everywhere.And as she navigated her pregnancy, she knew that she didn't want to allow pregnancy and birth to happen to her - or enable the healthcare system to do whatever they wanted. As she had seen growing up, she needed to be the center of her experience, supported by those who could uplift her in that positioning. That return to the beginning would also birth Wolomi. The goal and mission of Wolomi is to provide resources and guidance that support black birthing people to own their perinatal journey, alongside others that look like them, and share in their experience. Resources:Wolomi | digital community that offers support to women of color to improve maternal health outcomes
Leslie had started preparing for parenthood by learning as much as she could and discovered many pathways for birth, parenting, and creating a home environment that would be different from her own life experience. She had learned about homebirth in college and kept the knowledge in her mind until she and her husband, Carvens, were expecting their own child. They hired Caryn as additional support but found that she would be there for unexpected aspects of pregnancy. She found herself vulnerable and needing reassurance as she managed pregnancy during a pandemic and racial unrest in our country.Leslie sought grounding and joy through the uncertainties of the environment. When her labor ensued, she committed to her affirmations, breathing, and leaning into her support. Learning to surrender to that space and moment allowed her to power through. And birth her baby into her arms. Leslie refers to her birth experience as a “posture of gratitude.”Resources:Joyfull Beginnings (Caryn Fields) | doula & EducatorThe Bussiness of Being Born | a 2008 documentary film that explores the contemporary experience of childbirth in the United States.Nurture | a modern guide to pregnancy, birth and early motherhoodThe First Forty Days | the essential art of nourishing the new motherMindful Birthing | training the mind, body, and heart for childbirth and beyondBirthing from Within | holistic approach to childbirth that examines this profound rite-of-passage not as a medical event but as an act of self-discovery.
Due to technical difficulties, you will hear from Sarah towards the end of this episode.In expanding their family, Tauri and Sarah found that Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) was the route that felt best. And after finding out they were pregnant, being the planner she is - Tauri began preparing for their birth vision.They wouldn't have even known they needed to prepare for dealing with pregnancy and birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. After the 20 week scan, Tauri and Sarah would soon find they would be experiencing their pregnancy amongst just the two of them. Coming to the end of her pregnancy, Tauri was trying all the techniques to get labor started. After a night of nothing happening with castor oil, Tauri found herself a bit restless. Feeling a shift, she went to the bathroom and experienced a movie-style breaking of her waters. She shared the news with Sarah and went back to sleep.Into the next day, there wasn't much change, and after 12 hours, Tauri and Sarah headed to the hospital. With the support of Pitocin, contractions began coming intense and fast. Working through the night and into the early morning, Tauri started to feel a new intensity. When her midwife arrived, her body had already begun pushing, her baby already crowning. And following her lead, pushing when she felt ready, Sarah caught their baby, placing her on Tauri's chest with all her "cheesy vernix" goodness.Resources:Expecting Better | pregnancy preparation guidebookThe Birth Partner | a complete guide to childbirth for dads, partners, doulas, and all other labor companionsThe Womanly Art of Breastfeeding | nursing guide from preparation, pregnancy, expressing and storing milkSpinning Babies | pregnancy preparation as well as labor activities to ease birth
Dr. Alicia Bonaparte is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College and trained as a medical sociologist specializing in reproductive health, health disparities, and female crime and deviance. Dr. Bonaparte is well known for her role as co-editor of Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy and Childbirth - a book that has ushered in a movement of Black Birth Workers across the diaspora. We had an opportunity to discuss Birthing Justice's origins and the far-reaching effects that have influenced policy, education, and birth narratives centering Black bodies.In our conversation, we explore her work as a whole and ways in which history and community can serve as a powerful force in accessing our power to create change and birth liberation. We left feeling whole - it was full of lessons we will be taking into the continued celebration of Black Maternal Health Week 2021 and Black birth, Black life, and Black joy!We share with you some of our favorite highlights;There will be a second edition of Birthing Justice released in 2022!!!"We cannot assume there is no historical precedent to the things we see today" examining our history allows us to "figure out necessary interventions to shift that paradigm so things can become better." ~ Dr. Alicia BonaparteThe beauty of honoring our people (our community) when they are here with us earthside and giving them their flowers now. And not just in accolades and gratitude but showering them in their worth!"Take really good care of yourself and focus on your joy and cultivating it." ~ Dr. Alicia BonaparteResources:Birthing Justice | black women, pregnancy & childbirthJulia Chinyere Oparah | Birthing Justice co-editor, professor, and chair of Ethnic Studies at Mills College and a founding member of Black Women Birthing JusticeJennie Joseph | British trained midwife, founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc., and the creator of The JJ WayThe JJ Way | a patient-centered model of carePerinatal Task Force | a program component of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. Black Mamas Matter Alliance |Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance. Centering Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice.Ayanna Pressley | U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 7th congressional districtKeisha Goode, PhD | NACPM Vice PresidentThe Birthing Place | Natural Birth Services in HoustonBlack Women for Wellness | committed to health and well-being of Black women and girls through health education, empowerment, and advocacy.South LA/South Bay AAIMM | coalition focused on Black infant and maternal deaths/health in Los Angeles County
Meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while improving mood, resilience, focus, and a sense of well-being. Meditation is a gift... one that you can freely give to yourself. Affirmations are positive statements that can help you overcome self-sabotage, negative thoughts. Start with what you want to change. Both practices combined can help you achieve goals, manage stress, and have an overall better quality of life.Kristen Hanna is a BSiC Storyteller that encourages mindful motherhood in her work and daily life. Kristen and her partner have started an apparel line, Be Free Apparel, as an opportunity to not only clothe the body but inspire and encourage others to break generational patterns and heal to live and love as freely as God intended. She has graciously gifted our listeners with an offering of meditation.The intention of this meditation is for reframing and centering as you prepare for and navigate your birth. The hope that this pause allows you to tap within yourself. And the affirmations curated from snippets of BSiC community storyteller's own experiences cover you in support. Pause. Tap in. Listen.
Jefri had always wanted a homebirth and be supported with midwifery care. When she found out she was pregnant - it also fell in line when she began her work as a student midwife. This would allow for a unique perspective, as working through her course work, she learned through her own body. Connecting what she was learning to what was happening for her throughout her pregnancy. For Jefri prepping for birth mentally, emotionally, and spiritually was of high importance. Tapping into her intuition and "reconciling her relationship with pain" based on conscious and unconscious thoughts around it. She wanted to be able to trust herself throughout her whole journey, an aspect of preparation that was key for Aigbokhai as well—finding a way to stay out of his own head so that he could be "in the moment, present and available" to support Jefri in whatever way she needed.When labor began, Jefri felt as though it wasn't time. As things started picking up, she still disregarded the shift but followed her body's request for movement as she worked through contractions. After some time, she found herself returning to the toilet, her body signaling to her that their baby would be arriving soon.With a sense of haste, she instructed Aigbokhai to call their midwife, and they both began hurriedly preparing for the baby to come. With their midwife still a bit of way from their home and things moving fast, they placed her and Jefri's mother on facetime. Both of them providing support and encouragement as the baby began crowning. And with another two contractions, their son was born into Jefri and Aigbokhai's hands.
When pregnant with her second child, the physical aspects of the journey were familiar. Still, Chanel knew to prepare herself for the unfamiliar fully, and she would need to educate herself and build a birth team that she could trust, which would fully support her in moving forward with a VBAC. And while moving through those parts, she would also find that her personal healing would be just as important, this pregnancy being a light for that and teaching her patience and the power of releasing control.Since her son had arrived early, Chanel was convinced that she would have the same experience for this pregnancy. At 41 weeks and one day, Chanel was starting to feel challenged mentally, but contractions would start developing some consistency, and she took that time to rest and move throughout her day. Their doula supported them in the early shifts and then transitioning to the birth center as things intensified. The birth centered provided Chanel with a sense of peace. Feeling like the "center of attention," which made her "feel covered, and protected and safe." A pivotal moment she expresses during her birth was as she was shifting into transition, feeling fatigued she took to solitude in the shower. She was spending an intimate moment in prayer with God, asking and reflecting on strength to continue. The moment she recalls fully surrendering - her baby arriving soon after.Resources:A Werking Mama | birth support, education & advocacy
For Jordan and Rufus, knew they wanted to spend the first year of their marriage focused on just the two of them. And by year two, they were ready to expand their family, but as time moved throughout that year and they were still not pregnant, they began getting a bit concerned that maybe something was wrong. After a visit with their doctor and receiving the news that nothing seemed to be wrong, Jordan made a call to her mother-in-law, who had had a similar experience. She was able to express her concerns and fears. Her mother-in-law holding space for her at that moment, reassuring her that she would get pregnant when it needed to happen, and the following month that assurance came to fruition.And as they were riding the wave of joy, they would soon find themselves shifting to grief. Jordan was very close to her grandmother and was heartbroken with her passing a week after discovering they were pregnant. Jordan felt her close - the intuition that she was going to have a daughter, which they found out about on the day of her other grandmother's birthday, March 13th. Their presence deep throughout her entire journey.Two days after her estimated due date, Jordan started feeling contractions and immediately about five minutes apart. Wanting to labor at home as long as possible, she found relief in the tub. And as things intensified, Rufus encouraged her that it may be time for them to head to the hospital. When she arrived, she found out that she was four centimeters dilated. Rufus and Jordan felt very supported in the hospital, and when labor slowed down at nine and a half centimeters, her birth team encouraged many positional changes to help her daughter make her way. And after 15 minutes of pushing, she arrived earthside, with Rufus catching the perfect photo and her extended family watching via Facetime.Rufus expressed that one area he wasn't prepared for was the transition of postpartum, which was made more challenging with the restrictions of COVID. They couldn't fully tap into their community; being in sync with each other throughout it all continues to help them find and share in the joyful moments.Resources:Holy Labor | scriptural exploration of common conceptions about pregnancy and childbirth
Jocelyne, a homebirth parent, and co-creator of Homebirth.com shared her story and the origins of those unexpected titles. Jocelyne and her partner had been planning their wedding when they discovered they were expecting. They made a pivot and married ahead of schedule. The next obstacle was finding alignment with a provider that would honor their wishes became the most challenging aspect of the pregnancy. They switched providers from an OB/GYN to a birth center with midwifery care. The stars seemed to align, but an unexpected closing once again thwarted their plans. Three months before her expected due date, the birthing center she and her husband had planned to welcome their baby closed. Homebirth became an option that was strange to them and required a mental adjustment to help keep them out of the hospital. Hospital birth felt like pregnancy was a medical issue, and that didn’t match their thought process unless a medical challenge presented during the birth. They quickly researched their options and connected with midwives they trusted. Their family was able to prepare for and have the birth they envisioned in their own home.Jocelyne’s husband, midwife, and parents surrounded her in love and support as labor ensued. Her midwife assisted her in maintaining movement and naturally stimulating her contractions. And her parents stepped away to allow for space and time. Jocelyne was able to progress and focus on the task at hand. They were able to achieve their homebirth after not even seeing this as a possibility for their family.Homebirth.com was created in their response to wanting to share the beauty and joy of their homebirth story. Homebirth.com holds space for story sharing and helps others who wish to Homebirth find the birth teams that can help meet their birthing goals.Resources:Homebirth.com | providing knowledge and resources centered in homebirth
Being a maternity nurse, Courtney knew the lack of focus on preparing for the fourth trimester. For her, a vital part of preparation when pregnant was anchoring into how she would support her healing and bonding during that time. This encompassed building a full birth team - a midwife aligned with her vision, a lactation consultant, a pelvic floor therapist, and ensuring her husband was empowered as well.When early labor began at 38 weeks for Courtney's first birth, she spent most of that time in the sense of denial. As she moved about her day, her body and baby showed signs that his arrival would be soon. It took encouragement from her husband and midwife to help shift her mindset that the time had come. As she was having a homebirth, Courtney moved about her home and different positions to help with progression. It was a pivotal moment for her to feel her son engage in her pelvis, prompting her to have her husband get her birth pool ready and have her midwife join them. Being able to lean into her husband for support and having space to trust her body entirely, they welcomed their son soon after.When she found herself experiencing the signs of labor again 16 months after her son's birth, the sense of familiarity with her body's response was strong. This progression was much faster, a surprise to Courtney, when she began pushing her "body, grabbed onto the energy," and her daughter began making her way.For both of her births, early postpartum planning would be pivotal. After her son's birth, the time allowed her to take the pauses she needed and process her full experience. With her daughter having suffered with baby blues, she focused her care on herself, being honest with herself about what she needed, and knowing that in the moments when she wasn't ok, that was ok!Resources:The Equipped Mama | birth and beyond services
After about four years into their marriage, Ashley and her husband were ready to expand their family. And when they found out they were expecting, being the planner she is, Ashley began preparing for her pregnancy and birth. Understanding maternal health for black women, having a black doctor and OBGYN was essential to her. With her background as a chef, staying nourished with the right foods and diet was also at her forefront.Knowing her mother's birth stories - all of her children's birth from start to finish being 4 hours, Ashley envisioned she would have a similar experience. So when her water broke three days after her estimated due date, she arrived at the hospital ready for the journey to be swift. Settling into the hospital at 9 am, Ashley was 2cm dilated, and by the afternoon, was told had progressed to 8cm. To her surprise, once her doctor arrived and did a cervical exam, she expressed that Ashley was only 5cm. Ashley was, of course, disappointed but knew that she had to stay in a serene and positive mindset. As she labored through the day and progression remained in the same spot, Ashley, her husband, and birth team tried many options, finally deciding that her son's arrival would be a surgical birth.Leaving the hospital and returning home was tough; Ashley was managing her physical healing from a surgeryshe hadn't expected, working through nursing challenges and also the mental toll of this new transition. Creating with food had always been an outlet for Ashley; during her pregnancy, she prepared ready-made meals for postpartum that would be easy for her and her husband to make—having food in this way assisted with her body recovery and recovery mentally. But even with that, Ashley felt like she wasn't allowing a release for her thoughts or feelings from having postpartum anxiety and baby blues. Not finding what she needed, she decided to create a guided journal. A space that she could communicate her feelings with no pressure or judgments. A safe space serving as self-care, a reminder that as a birthing parent, "you are important.." and all parts of you "have a space in your baby's life."Resources:Chef Ashley Shep | simplifying meal time with tips, tricks, and ideas to make the most out of mealtimeNew Mom Thoughts | guided keepsake journalSponsors:March of Dimes | education, research, support & advocacy for moms and babiesMarch of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for the health of all moms and babies, is observing World Defects Day on March 3rd. This is an annual event in which March of Dimes partners with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to generate awareness among women of childbearing age and families about actions they can take to help prevent birth defects. Join the conversation about World Defects Day by following hashtag #Best4YouBest4Baby on social media and by visiting March of Dimes at marchofdimes.org/BSiC.
Natalie Nicole joined us to share the birth story of her rainbow baby. After experiencing a miscarriage on New Year’s day of 2014, she was terrified of being pregnant again. So that June, when she found out she was pregnant, she was fearful about the same outcome. But in January 2015, her son was born, and answering her prayers and showing her strength.Natalie entered this pregnancy, being concerned about what happened to cause her miscarriage. She nervously started sharing her news as her family and friends expressed their excitement. She experienced the typical symptoms of pregnancy, but the pregnancy was without challenges. Natalie wanted to take it one day at a time with minimal planning.During her 38 week appointment with her doctor, she had a cervical exam and learned, to her surprise, that she was nearly 10 cm dilated. She had labored over the weekend after she lost her mucus plug. She didn’t experience intense contractions over the weekend but had challenges sleeping. Things moved quickly to get her settled in the delivery room. Natalie still had her bag of waters intact, and she received a pitocin drip as recommended by her provider to speed up labor. After laboring with pitocin, Natalie knew she wanted additional support by way of an epidural. Reflecting on her birth and the speed of it, Natalie found herself wishing she had more of a plan. She was receiving medication; she couldn’t recall why she was taking it or what it was called. Her family arrived in full force, and she began to feel uncomfortable as the room was crowded and overwhelming, which deterred her focus and ability from being calm. Her birth space had made what could have been a smoother process complicated by the use of forceps, suctioning, and an episiotomy.Natalie’s body had carried her child to term, she had naturally labored at home, and once she shifted her environment and mindset so swiftly, her ideal of a calm birth had started to slip through her hands.One week into postpartum, Natalie found herself feeling depressed. She had limited support at home as her partner had to work, and her mother had been with her for the first week. Intrusive thoughts and breastfeeding challenges led to a lack of sleep and anxiety. She became suicidal and sought help. Natalie shared her feelings and thoughts with her partner and family. She began using antidepressants, but it wasn’t enough as the anxiety and highs and lows continued. Natalie was admitted to a mental health facility to protect herself. Listen on as Natalie shares her harrowing journey through postpartum depression, anxiety and how she was open to not just therapy but medication and continued support.Resources:Shades of Blue | breaking cultural barriers in Maternal Mental Health GloballyPostpartum Support International | provide current information, resources, education, advocate for further research and legislation to support perinatal mental healthMindfully Well Rooted | mental health and lifestyle blogSponsors:March of Dimes | education, research, support & advocacy for moms and babiesMarch of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for the health of all moms and babies, is observing World Defects Day on March 3rd. This is an annual event in which March of Dimes partners with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to generate awareness among women of childbearing age and families about actions they can take to help prevent birth defects. Join the conversation about World Defects Day by following hashtag #Best4YouBest4Baby on social media and by visiting March of Dimes at marchofdimes.org/BSiC.
For LC and her husband, Sheldon becoming pregnant with their daughter was something they were ready for and had planned. In the moments of confirming their pregnancy, they would also find out that a dear friend had passed away. As LC expressed, this would set her pregnancy's tone, a constant teetering of joy and grief. In the months coming, LC would also lose her grandmother and another close friend - on the day of her daughter's birth. And while she was moving through the physical parts of her journey with ease, the emotional part would be challenging.LC knew that she wanted a doula again, but this time it had to be a black doula. LC connected with ROOTT. As she moved through her pregnancy, the relationships she had with her doulas opened space for honest conversations - LC was grieving, causing her to be disconnected from the pregnancy and shying from actually receiving the support she needed. Along with therapy, her husband, and the support from ROOTT, she was able to "feel grounded in the pregnancy even if it wasn't exciting."Due to some concerns of Intrauterine Growth restriction, LC was induced at 40 weeks. Reflecting on her son's birth, she had prepped herself and her support team that things would move slow and she would be having her baby the next day. But things progressed differently this time around even though she was convinced that she was not in labor - her body and baby telling a different story. The feelings of anxiety and fear left LC in denial, and while she may not have been ready for her daughter to come, Karah was. As LC puts it, "she birthed herself."Resources:Zora’s House | co-working and community space in Central Ohio catering specifically to women of colorSponsors:Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOTT) | reproductive justice organizationROOTT is a collective of concerned Black families, community members, advocates & interdisciplinary professionals dedicated to decreasing Black maternal & infant mortality in Ohio. ROOTT’s mission is to comprehensively restore our collective well-being through collaboration, resource allocation, research & re-empowerment, in order to meet the needs of Black parents & families. If you and your family are planning, pregnant, or in your postpartum period, please reach out to ROOTT at www.roottrj.org. Financial assistance is available. You can also connect with ROOTT at 614-398-1766 or email general-info@roottrj.org
Najla Muhammad joins us to share her controversial birth story set in a foreign land with laws in place that didn’t fit her birth vision. She had experienced birth in a hospital with her previous pregnancies but always wanted to birth at home. Now she decided to not only birth at home but that she also wanted to have an unassisted birth. She and her husband were in agreement with each other and sought to create a space in their home to fit that choice. They were living abroad in Egypt, where home births are considered illegal. They explored the option of having some prenatal care and the possibility of a midwife and doula attending as a precaution.Najla was moved to stick to her convictions and honor her knowledge, intuition, and spiritual direction. Her birth unfolded and revealed more of who she knew she was. Najla continues to honor this practice of self-direction in pregnancy and birth through Maryam’s Womb - providing holistic birth support and womb health education for women and teens.
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Comments (1)

Tayler Clemm

love this episode. guest is amazing

Jan 21st
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