Birth HERstory Blog
Celebrating the HERstory of Black women in BIRTH in the 21st Century
Today, I want to share a bit about how birthwork has influenced the other areas of my life. I think it is important to share how it has transformed the way I see myself as a WOMBman because otherwise you may not see how all these areas like Considering the Heavens and WeVibe WeFit flow with each other.
When I committed to birthwork, things were a bit different than they are right now. Often, I was the only Black woman in a group of birthworkers and sometimes the only one at trainings. We were still trying to convince the majority culture that as Black women we were having unique experiences that should be addressed and we were being told that it was better to focus on our shared problems rather than focus on any specific group’s issues.
After some time of trying to fit in and waiting for our issues to be addressed in the midst of broader issues, I began to encounter more Black doulas, who like me, were tired of waiting for permission to focus on the greatest concerns we found regarding Black women in birth culture. At a certain point, we embraced the notion that #WeSaveOurselves… that #IAmTheAnswer.
I was the first person that I knew that used these hashtags and I was excited when I saw others begin to use them, too. So many Black women began to #AnswerTheCall to birthwork. It was wonderful.
It was as if we had gone from famine to feast. There were Black women of all ages, educational backgrounds and socioeconomic status that were seeking to become birth workers and SANKOFA - “go back and fetch what has been forgotten”.
The more Black women looked back, the more they saw our rich cultural history. It was no longer okay to exclude us from the history of birth in the United States, when we had been THE BIRTH KEEPERS up until recent decades. I spoke about it HERE.
Anyway, the more Black women answered the call to birth work as doulas, lactation consultants, midwives, etc., the more I began to notice how support was needed in a different way. Black women were moving into birthwork to save themselves, but they were not prepared for birth culture. They had come to birthwork with rose colored glasses, but reality was daunting for them. Along with not having mentorship be a focus in birthwork, they also came to understand that there were only a few Black midwives in the U.S. compared to what had been 60 or 70 years ago when most Black women would have birthed with Black midwives. Some Black women took a more assertive approach and began to train and study to be midwives.
As all of these changes were happening, I felt a shift happen in my focus. I knew that I could be a solution for those seeking mentorship and guidance as they sought to navigate birth culture. And I also knew that unless Black families were reintroduced to some our traditional ways of caring for WOMBmen during the childbearing year, the emerging Black midwives would struggle to be effective in their work.
So I developed a few opportunities for Daughters of the African Diaspora to equip themselves and position themselves more effectively in birth culture, and they are my 50 offerings for today. Take a look at ALL OF THE “CELEBRATE 50” OFFERINGS with discount codes. I have highlighted a few below.
Sankofa BIrth Ambassador Mentoring is an opportunity to receive training as a birthworker and also mentorship. You can check out two Sankofa Birth Ambassadors I am extremely proud of HERE and HERE. I am offering a $50 DISCOUNT for new SBA Mentees for my birthday.
I also offer general Sankofa Birthworker Mentoring for those who might feel that they need additional one-on-one support, even after training with various organizations. I truly love supporting birth workers in this way and being there as they establish themselves in this work.
Here is what Shanalynn Davis, Founder of Gifted Hands International had to say:
“You have had such an influence in the way I approach birthwork from learning to dismantle the savior complex that majority culture put on this position and recognizing who I am and how I fit into a greater design. I went from going into birthwork because I was interested in health care and wanted to help birthing people, to realizing that I never really had a choice in a matter and that I was answering a call that was sent out way before I got here. That I am tapping into something way bigger than myself! YOU help me see that and it has changed the way I teach others to approach this work. I am sooo grateful and look forward to continuing to grow under your tutelage!”
Are you a birthworker who needs support as you are seeking to support others? Consider whether this mentoring opportunity might serve you. You can begin your Sankofa Birthworker Mentoring journey with me, Dr. Doula, for $50 per month.
And for those who understand that birth and postpartum is truly A FAMILY AFFAIR, I offer 10 THINGS… It is for everyone because in order for us to SAVE OURSELVES we need to know the roles we can play in the birthing WOMBman’s life and how we can be of assistance. It is being offered at $50 DISCOUNT right now as a way to serve families.
When we catch up again tomorrow, I will tell you how birthwork influenced the spiritual work I do. Thanks for hanging out with me for my birthday week!!!
With great expectation,
Andrea Little Mason, Ed.D.
Doula and Birth Mentor
"Reclaim Your Birth Rites"
"We Build Legacy"
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