Culturally-Relevant Care

A photo of an African American mother with her babyBy Carol Gray, LMT, CST, RPYT, ERYT-200

Black Women Again Turn to Midwives, Some Fearing Coronavirus in Hospitals.

I was so happy to read this headline. I’m sad that fear of contracting COVID-19 in the hospital and  concern over no support people allowed to attend laboring people in the hospital is driving some of the change. Nonetheless, it’s change. We’re headed in the right direction.

Sobering Statistics for Black Parents

I’ve long known that Black parents are three to four times more likely to die of childbirth-related causes than White parents, regardless of income or education. Historical systems of oppression have denied access to vital maternity care and support to certain individuals. This has caused worse outcomes for those birthing parents and their babies.

The Black Midwifery Movement

The incidence of planned home birth in the US has grown beyond the 1% level it held for many years. Along with the general trend there has been a growing Black midwifery movement.  I believe that one way to foster change is to invest in culturally-relevant services to those whose lives are unfairly jeopardized due to past and present inequities. It just makes sense.

Illegal Homebirth – Really

Much more work needs to be done. For example, in many states there is no licensing for home birth midwives. This makes home birth essentially illegal in those states. Do midwives attend home births in those states? Yes. Some of them are now behind bars because of it.

BIOPOC Teacher Training Scholarships at MamaSpace

We know that prenatal and postpartum yoga is beneficial for pregnant and postpartum people. One way that we have tried to help make it available to more people at MamaSpace Yoga is to make five full scholarships available for each teacher training to applicants who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). The goal is to make prenatal and postpartum yoga more accessible and inclusive.

Scholarships are granted to those who demonstrate the ability to address racial and social justice in their work as prenatal yoga teachers. Scholarships cover the workshop fees only. They do not cover books, materials, lodging, meals, or transportation, which must be covered by the participant. These are not work-study scholarships. The scholarship is a gift from MamaSpace Yoga for the benefit of your community.

About Carol Gray

Carol Gray, MamaSpace Yoga Founder and OwnerCarol is the founder and owner of MamaSpace Yoga. She has been a therapeutic bodyworker in private practice for over 30 years. She specializes in Craniosacral Therapy for pregnant and postpartum people and infants. Carol has spent years developing hands-on techniques to enhance the mobility in pregnant bodies including the bony pelvis, the abdominal organs, the support structures and lower segment of the uterus. She is  proud to have pioneered the integration of this gentle manual therapy into prenatal care, the birth place and postpartum care for birthing parents and babies. The goal is to give babies more room to develop, grow and get born. Her specially-designed yoga classes have grown naturally from the roots of bodywork and yoga.

Carol has dedicated her professional life to supporting expectant and new families by promoting gentle aware birth. She has attended births for over 35 years – at first as a doula and from 2000 to 2012 as a midwife. She has since retired from attending births in order to focus on practicing and teaching CST and prenatal yoga. Her many years as a birth worker have forever changed her and her worldview. Those experiences remain an integral part of who she is as a therapist and teacher.

Carol is the founder and director of the The Carol Gray Center for CST Studies®. She teaches high-quality, small group classes that are appropriate for bodyworkers, birth attendants and other health professionals. She is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education approved provider.