This year marks the fifth annual Black Maternal Health Week, a holiday that was officially recognized by the White House on April 13, 2021. Founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, the initiative is meant to facilitate conversation around Black maternal health issues, drive more policy, research and care solutions that help Black women have healthier pregnancies and promote community organization around Black maternal health matters. With the CDC reporting that Black women are three times as likely as white women to die due to pregnancy-related complications, to call this movement critical would be an understatement. This year, Black Maternal Health Week runs between April 11-17. iOne Digital has partnered with the National Birth Equity Collaborative, an organization dedicated to furthering research and policies that address Black maternal mortality, to address “The disparities in the levels of care disseminated to BlackMamas is directly related to structural racism.”
Source: Courtesy of NBEC / NBEC
MADAMENOIRE is excited about the upcoming collaboration, as BMHW speaks to the plethora of concerns that trouble the Black birthing community.
“From the criminal legal system, to medical apartheid, reproductive injustices, and other forms of state violence, systemic oppression has been mapped across the bodies of Black women since this nation’s inception.” Kirsten West Savali, iOne Digital’s Vice President of Content, said. “It is critical that Black mothers and Black birthing people are supported, protected, empowered, and cared for with respect. The National Birth Equity Collaborative has been at the forefront of making that world possible and iOne is honored to once again partner with NBEC for Black Maternal Health Week.”
The theme for2022’s BMHW is “Building for Liberation: Centering Black Mamas, Black Families and Black Systems of Care.” Doulas and midwives are often overlooked, with traditional hospital workers getting more of the spotlight. In honoring this holiday, we’ve created a list of amazing Black doulas and midwives to follow on Instagram for tips, support and more.
Latham Thomas is the founder of Mama Glow, a doula and maternity lifestyle brand that offers online doula training. Thomas recently appeared on an episode of “Listen to Black Women,” and on her Mama Glow IG you can find beautiful and raw imagery of pregnancy and labor, along with insightful tips on delivery, pregnancy and more, along with valuable statistics about similar topics. On Thomas’ personal page, you can find updates on expos and live events where you can catch her sharing her wisdom.
The Alkaline Doula
Anna aka “The Alkaline Doula” has a unique background, having studied plant-based nutrition for mothers and children as well as clinical herbal medicine and female reproductive herbal science. This doula takes a holistic approach to pregnancy (and motherhood) with a diet-focused program for expecting moms. On her IG page she shares insightful, research-backed tips on dietary changes, recipes and more to support a healthy pregnancy. In her Linktr.ee you’ll find a list of useful sources like an alkaline food list and organic supplies for mothers and newborns.
Honeydew Holistics is owned by Alicia Hudson, a doula, certified yoni steam practitioner and holistic health coach. She focuses on how food and herbs can serve as holistic medicine for reproductive issues and in supporting maternal health. Beyond that, you can find all sorts of inspiring posts on all things femininity on her page. Honeydew Holistics has a brick-and-mortar location in Brooklyn, NY where they host interesting events like their “Pussy Paint & Puff” event where attendees enjoy sativa while creating vagina-inspired artwork.
Nadia the Doula
Nadia makes learning about all things doulas, as well as pregnancy and labor, seem easy and even fun. She makes tons of short reels offering digestible tips on things like what to do when you go into early labor to birth positions and more. She offers a birthing and doula class and in her linktr.ee you’ll find a long list of helpful resources including Nadia’s list of questions to ask your OBGYN, birth affirmations, a hospital bag checklist and a link to the site where you can take her online birthing class.
Aiyana Davison is a midwife who chronicles her journey in her work as well as shares invaluable advice to expecting and new mothers. She often hosts live events on IG discussing things like postpartum care , the real cost of giving birth and women’s health issues within vulnerable populations. In her linktr.ee you’ll find a link to her blog, The Vagina Chronicles, where you’ll get more in-depth posts about maternity matters. Her “Out of hospital wish list” is also a useful one-stop Amazon page with items that can support new and pregnant moms like heating pads, healing herbs and more.
The Black Doula
Sabia Wade aka “The Black Doula” is a warrior for Black mothers who haven’t received the maternal care they deserve in traditional medical centers. Her non-profit “For the Village” provides free doula services to people in San Diego County, helping to fill the major gap in healthcare that expecting Black women often face. She has a podcast called “The Black Doula Podcast,” and hosts monthly BIPOC support groups. You can find her hosting regular live events on IG covering topics pertaining to pregnancy, minority health issues and more.
Domo the Doula
Domo the Doula is a certified holistic doula who shares tips not only for mothers but also for families on how to live a holistic lifestyle and be a support system to one another. Her brand, Flourished, hosts events and sells products that aim to support women in every phase of life, from girlhood to adulthood to motherhood. On her online shop, you can book services such as yoni healings and spiritual consultations. Doma incorporates these immersive practices in her doula services.