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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Carol Gray, LMT, CST, RPYT, ERYT-200
MamaSpace Yoga Founder & Owner