It’s Black Maternal Health Week, which is an especially important time of the year to help inform people about the disparities Black mothers face when it comes to maternal care and the healthcare system at large. If we’re being honest though, this information is not something that should solely be a focus during times like this. It also shouldn’t be something that we as Black women wait to learn about until we’re preparing to bring a child into the world. It’s necessary to educate yourself early about options out there, and the true asset seeking out a midwife to deliver or having a doula at your side can be in the birthing process. All of it can aid you in learning how to advocate for yourself when dealing with obstetricians who may be pushy or not listen to your needs, which is, unfortunately, not a rare occurrence for expectant Black women. To help us all stay a bit more informed all year round, and feel safer when our time to deliver comes, we put together a list of experienced and passionate women in midwifery and doula services. There are many more of course, but these pages are a great place to start in getting enlightened.
Nikki McIver-Brown @sanantonionursemidwife
A San Antonio-based certified nurse midwife with experience offering care in hospitals, at home, in birth centers as well as clinics, Nikki has helped usher many a child into this world. You can see many of those adorable babies on her Instagram page, which is also filled with some of the breathtaking deliveries she’s done, conversations about vaginal birth after cesarean, and encouragement for moms at all stages.
Sabia Wade @theblackdoula
As Wade says of her work, the “Radical” doula’s mission “is to bring inclusive, accessible and full spectrum education and resources to all individuals and organizations ready to take the next step in creating a world of inclusion, justice and equity to birthing people all over the world.” She does just that with her page, as well as her podcast, The Black Doula Podcast, her Birthing Advocacy doula training and For the Village doula services.
Domo the Doula @flourishedgiselle
The South Florida-based holistic doula’s mission is to “spread knowledge, support, and techniques we could use to heal ourselves and our families” and “to bring awareness to women of color about the pregnancy risk we face and different techniques to prevent complications.” She also sells products for moms, babies, and those just generally looking for spiritual growth and enlightenment. One of her most interesting techniques, which can be seen on her Instagram, is the kinesiology tape work she does to alleviate pain (back, pelvic, etc.) on pregnant women, which not only looks quite cool, but is also very useful.
Aiyana Davison @thevaginachronicles
As Aiyana says of her Vagina Chronicles platform, “I want you to have the knowledge. Whether you’re curious, walking through an experience, planning for children, planning for NO children, pregnant, experienced loss, a student or new grad, a birther, a partner, a friend, or just here— I hope you find something for you.” The experienced midwife not only gives the rundown on the essentials regarding the birthing process and postpartum care, as well as some really positive affirmations, but she also talks about vaginal health in general, which you can never have too much information about.
anaturalmindedmama’s experience giving birth to her son unassisted (freebirth is the term) is what inspired her to get into birth work. Her @anaturalmindeddoula page takes you into all of the work she does with clients, while her personal “mama” page gives a glimpse at her beautiful family — and her incredible skills as a yogi.
Rachel Nicks Lyons @birthqueenorg
A wearer of many hats, including being a trainer for The Mirror home gym, an actress and a mom, Rachel is also a doula. She founded Birth Queen, which provides Black moms “with education & support & train & implement black birth workers into the field to tackle the Black maternal health crisis.”
Racha Tahani Lawler @crimson_fig
A Cali-based midwife with more than 18 years of experience, Racha Tahani Lawler’s page is where you want to be. You can get insight into her midwifery work, and also some knowledge on her traditional healing practices (and delish vegan diet), but also her fight against racism in maternity care and in the world as a whole.
Chanel Porchia-Albert @ancientsong
Chanel’s Ancient Song doula services, which are available to moms in New York and New Jersey, is just one aspect of the work the organization does. It also educates women on understanding the complexities of pregnancy and the postpartum period, aids in the fight for reproductive justice, and offers, through conversations and events, the opportunity to take part in necessary discussions about how to center the experiences of expectant Black mothers and families.
Asasiya I @thepeoplesmidwife
Asasiya’s page displays some stunning images and stories about her experiences bringing babies into the world (there’s a series of images that display her successful efforts to resuscitate a newborn that is especially powerful). It’s also used to help followers familiarize themselves with other talented doulas in her circle whose services are available, and to take people inside postpartum visits and newborn exams, which are very interesting and informative — and super cute.