Too often, Black pregnant women die because of preventable birth complications, which has prompted the resurgence of the Black midwife.
“As we’ve seen from Serena Williams’ near fatal birth experience, wealth and fame couldn’t protect her from the racial bias that exists in healthcare for Black women,” explained Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors. “In the U.S., Black women die at three to four times the rate of white women regardless of age, economic status, or education.”
“A midwife is a trained health care professional who specializes in caring for low-risk pregnant people during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum period,” explained, nurse-midwife Anayah Sangodele Ayoka. “As a Black midwife, I’m part of a movement to reclaim out legacy and reinstitute community-based care. I’m our practice we support women prior to conception and that continues through prenatal care, through labor and birth, through postpartum care, and also with gynecological care.”
Khan-Cullors believes that integrating midwives into our primary health care system is an important step that we can take to prevent during pregnancy and delivery. They also help ensure that women aren’t forced into medical procedures that could lead to complications.
“Black women have the power to reverse the stats by bringing back the midwife and sharing the impact of racial and gender biases on our health,” she stated.