A new study published by the CDC found that Black women are dying at an alarming rate from complications in childbirth, but one Black women-led wellness center out of Aurora, Colorado is working tirelessly to change the growing issue.
The Mama Bird Maternity Wellness Spa offers a number of services to help women of color have healthy and safe deliveries like their doula program. Expectant mothers can hire a doula 4-6 months before their due date and receive guidance throughout their pregnancy, in addition to postpartum care. They also offer lactation support and a special Prenatal Massage package where a massage therapist can help with easing labor pains during delivery. Birdie, who is the founder of the new wellness spa, said she was called to action following the CDC’s startling report.
“I know that we are not heard as Black women,” she told The Denver Channel during an interview. “I know that they don’t listen when we are in labor.”
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According to the CDC, 2020 saw a shocking uptick in mortality deaths during childbirth with Black women dying at three times the rate of white women. The report also found that maternal mortality rates appeared to increase with age. In 2020, there were “13.8 deaths per 100,000 live births for women under age 25, 22.8 for those aged 25–39, and 107.9 for those aged 40 and over,” the agency revealed.
“I’ve been in hospitals and I’ve been with moms at appointments where they’re just brushed off,” Birdie explained before reinforcing Mama Bird’s core mission.” It’s like our voices aren’t heard, and the main goal of this is for Black women to be seen and be heard.”
The cause hits close to home for Birdie, who also had a near-death experience during delivery.
“I was 22 weeks pregnant. I was left in labor to basically bleed out and die in a waiting room and nobody cared to come over,” she recalled of her harrowing delivery. “I didn’t have a support system, no providers, nobody knew what was going on and I didn’t realize the trauma I sustained at such a young age, and that really opened my eyes. Like, nobody’s listening to me.”
The maternal health and wellness guru said that she hopes to provide mothers of color with the care and support they need to feel safe and confident going into delivery, a feeling that every mother deserves.
In related news, MADAMENOIRE will be the official media partner for The National Birth Equity Collaborative’s 5th annual Black Maternal Health Week celebration that’s set to take place April 11-17. This year’s event will bring awareness to Black birthing and reproductive issues while highlighting a number of activists and organizations working to protect, educate and empower Black mothers through the maternity process. Created by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, the annual event also hopes to push the conversation about Black maternal health disparities to the forefront.