The Black Birth Renaissance
of the 21st Century
of the 21st Century
"I felt stuck... I couldn't move... I felt restricted and no one was holding me... My 'fear' was of being restrained again... I didn't want to 'feel' tied down... because I felt like if I could get up, I could do better... I could do so much better... I wanted FREEDOM..." ~ Christy Willis aka "Doula Mom"
Listen to the MP3 of this interview:
"Having a baby is the only 'well ' thing that happens at a hospital, so why should I have my baby at this place where sickness is going on? " ~Tanita Fadyeyola
Tanita's stories are an example of the ways that Black women can begin to reclaim their birth rites and support their sisters in birth, whether having been trained through a doula course or not. Start where you are and be willing to learn. We have always had the responsibility to help ourselves and heal ourselves in order to save ourselves.
Listen to the MP3 of the interview
Zinzile Seepie, the Zulu Doula, shares her insights and experiences with birth in in South Africa
"I don't know if I would say having an unassisted birth was a decision. The more I learned about birth and the more I reflected on my first birth the more I realized that, even though it was this amazing experience, I was not free. It was a gorgeous birth, but the more I learned about birth and the more I grew in the birth world, the more I remembered my own experience as a child in rural KZN (KwaZulu-Natal), the brighter the discrepancies were in what I understood in terms of how free I was in that birth."
Prior to my unassisted birth, I had the opportunity to meet a number of women who'd had an unassisted birth. One in particular is a good friend of mine. She's had five or six unassisted home births. I'd watched a few of the home videos that her husband had made of her birthing their children. At first I thought she was crazy, but i also knew she was an incredibly spiritual person. And i recognized even then that that was not something she had done of her own human capacity or reasoning that she had. You have to be inspired and I definitely recognized that she was inspired by something than herself to make that decision.
Zinzile's First Birth
The birth of my first son was a beautiful water birth in a very well-to-do birth center. It was majestic. There was a huge king size bed, a huge birthing bath, and candle light. It was dim. It was everything that you would want. It was the perfect environment - almost romantic. And I was so fortunate to have an amazing midwife. She was young and African. I remember getting to the hospital at night. There are flowers on the bed there was candlelight. It was dim. It was dark. It was beautiful.
My work is informed by my background – experiences, expertise, exposure, education & environment – as a woman, mother, wife, sister, educator, researcher, scholar, advocate, birth ally and legacy builder. #IAmTheAnswer #WeSaveOurselves