When it comes to coexisting on this Earth, one can choose to make things as simple or as complicated as they might like. I believe life is as simple as Darwin explained in regards to survival of the fittest. We must nourish our bodies in preparation for spiritual, intellectual and physical endurance every day of the week. With that, here are a few techniques that pregnant mothers can utilize to ensure the safe delivery of their infant.
- Hire a Doula – a Doula is a birth coach that can prove pivotal throughout this process. They may offer breathing techniques, recommended position stances and massages.
- Do Your Research – Make sure you take the time to choose a trustworthy individual for your Doula selection.
- Plan Activities with Your Doula – Get to know this person and provide a clear scope of your expectations throughout the process.
Doula birth trainers are so important because they can take such a load off of your shoulders. Their entire purpose is to lighten the burdens and stresses that come with bearing a child.
Key Characteristics Every Doula Should Maintain:
- Understanding – You must be able to demand transparency, accountability and most importantly interconnectivity on an interpersonal level with this person.
- Advocacy – your Doula should know the ins and outs of the healthcare industry and also the proper techniques that will make this process seamless. Proactive not Reactive.
- Assertiveness – this especially goes for women of color. Know your rights and be prepared to fend off any sort of maltreatment from doctors, nurses and technicians.
It is extremely key to keep a continuous stream of communication with your Doula throughout this process. The power of prayer and positive thinking also go a long way. Doulas are meant to offer counsel and combat inequalities that women may face during the child bearing process.Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOTT) is a reproductive justice program in Central OH that strives to ensure bodily autonomy for all families during pregnancy and beyond.
“We spend a lot of time trying to reprogram, in a way, how they perceive themselves that prior to our presence looked like a power differential. That goes a long way for helping them learn how to advocate for themselves, beyond the pregnancy.” (Dorian L. Wingard, ROOTT)
The dynamic between medical professional and pregnant family often poses itself as a power struggle. ROOTT makes sure that their clients understand the true structure of the matter.
“From a fundamental perspective, we ensure that our families are reempowered with the idea that the medical providers work for them. The medical providers do not have any autonomy over them. Once you walk into that environment with that type of shift in your mind, it’s a different vibe.”
Considering the fact that hospitals and major medical players could save on all-encompassing costs, it is quite the head scratcher as to why more places do not utilize Doula organizations like ROOTT.
“From a cost-benefit analysis, you significantly decrease the amount of money that you’re paying out for NICU babies or for postpartum complications from a maternal health perspective when you utilize services like ours.”
Then again, politics tend to corrupt and bastardize the well-being of citizens when it comes to the medical field. Since politics dictate, it makes sense why the people fighting for good are excluded from the conversations, altogether.
“The reason we were not invited back to the conversation is because some of the same organizations, associations and groups that were responsible for perpetuating the disproportionate black infant maternal mortality rates that we have seen are now active in the reform bills”
Our Vice President Kamala Harris demonstrates the importance of Doulas in her fight to push legislation. Initiatives such as the Maternal Care Act and Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act are being proposed to take crucial steps to repairing racial inequities in healthcare.
These acts will potentially provide $125M toward equal healthcare and $25M toward fighting racial biases in medicine. Implicit racial bias training will become inevitable if these laws are put into place.
We must use our voices and fight to break the cycle of medical mistrust. In order to do so, we must shatter barriers to make sure all needs are assessed and met equally.
The most important part about a Doula is the fact that they contribute to strength in numbers. They have your back 100% and can be the reason that you survive the labor process.
Black women’s infant mortality rate has been twice as high as white women in the past 35 years. (Duke)
Doulas can ensure safe delivery by putting their foot down with medical knowledge to back up statements. Also, they will be able to conquer hurried encounters by demanding transparency and honesty from medical professionals. It is so important that a mother hires a Doula to bring their baby girl or boy into this world safe and sound.
*Many insurance plans do not cover Doula costs
*Medicaid is required in Oregon, Minnesota and New York for reimbursement of Doula costs
*Some parts of Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Portland provide Doula services to low-income women at no cost.