Friday Four: Congresswoman Alma Adams presents, The State of Black Maternal Health during COVID-19

It was a good night to be in! LOADS of valuable information was shared about saving black pregnant moms. I had the honor of sharing information about Momsrisng and how effective doulas can be during this intense time.

But first things first, please go sign up for updates and action posts from Momsrising.org! I can’t tell you how much I love that organization! Then go sign up for updates for Representative Dr. Alma Adams office. She ‘s like the mom I would want if I didn’t have the wonderful one given to me! SERIOUSLY. Now…….. back to the symposium. It was GREAT! I learned so much. North Carolina and the United States as a whole gotta do better for our black pregnant moms. Rep Adams office did and amazing job putting together a powerhouse of industry and community advocates that shed so much light on these disparities and vile practices.

Representative Alma Adams 5th Annual Women’s Symposium took place at 6:00 PM Thursday, April 16. via Zoom: click image to watch. I’m in there some where.

She and her staff was joined by other Black Maternal Health Caucus Co-Chair, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, as well as Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. I kid you not! Cory Booker even complimented me on my Momsrising t-shirt that I had on! #HowSway right? I truly gained nuggets of value from every panelist and look forward to teaming back up with them in the future if the opportunity arises. But right now, I wanted to offer four ways a doula can help a pregnant mom during COVID-19.

Since many people still don’t know what a doula is, I will explain it. A doula is an unmedically trained birth worker. We exist to make a pregnancy smooth and easy for everyone involved. We provide a wide range of supplemental services before, during and after labor. We are there from preconception to post delivery to answer questions, make connections, help moms find her own voice, and provide customized services that make moms life empowered. If our practice was on a flow chart, It would be right under midwives. Only because we work outside of the labor and delivery room, not legally covered to deliver babies in most states, and in most states, our fees are covered privately.

But most doulas know it’s time to call the dr. when the baby is measuring too small for your pregnacy, (smaller fetal height), too much cramping, bleeding, severe back pain, funky- bloody discharge, little fetal movement in late pregnancy, and possible ongoing fever just to name a few alarms.

To learn more about my birthing services, please click here. The uncertainties of the Coronavirus automatically puts pregnant moms in a high risk category. Which is understandable. Most would also understand how frustrating it could be as well. And that’s my friend where your doula could be a God send for you! Here’s four ways a doula can help RIGHT NOW:

1. Via Video Call – Your Personal Workout Buddy.

A. Your doula can help your prepare your body for delivery. The moves she share will help you get pregant, stay pregnant, ease delivery and assist in getting your body back in shape after delivery.

B. Counseling. Most doulas are moms. Not all are moms or women, but most are. They understand how you are feeling. Even if it’s something she isn’t familiar with she has a listening ear to offer solutions and comfort.

C. How – To’s – Get the best information for your birt of choice! What to putin your diaper bag, Practice how to communicate with the hospital staff, Learn how to wrap your hair,/& belly, how to pick out car seats, and more.

D. Spiritual Health- DISCLOSURE – not all doulas rely on the ways of their African ancestors as a resources, but I do. I sing, I touch, I hmm, and truly connect with my moms to ensure she is confident in her new role as much as possible.

2. Via Phone. – A Caring and Resourceful Voice

2A. Affirmations. You can get affirmation read to you to help start your day or help you get through it.

2B. Verbal Check Ins – You’re quarantined. Your mate will be in your face. You have zero desire to get dressed or much less brush your teeth. Neither do I . Use the magic of voice. Your doula can sense how you’re doing with particular questions and cues. If needed she can make suggestions and referrals to assist you remotely.

3. Via Email/Text- Get It In Writing.

3A.Your doula can send you reminders to workout, help complete your birth plan, remind you to call your boss for paid leave*, assist you in order your exercise ball, etc.

4. Via USPS, General Delivery – Rain, Shine, Sleet or Snow……. it’s Coming To The Do’ (door)!

4A. Let’s all admit it. There’s something exciting about getting mail. Many doulas create/ & sell birthing supplies like bath salts , aroma therapy, herbal blends for lactation and more.

4B. She can have a healthy, non – contact, locally sourced meal delivered to your front door.

As you can see, a doula is loaded with resourcefulness. Some more than others. The key is to ask questions, and be flexible. She wants to help. She’s certified to help and because everyone is quarantined….she’s available to help! Shucks, I’m available- Call me!

P.S.

Protect Our Election and Postal Workers- Click here please!

Tell Governor Roy Cooper: We need mass release NOW. Our community is counting on you to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Being safe at home has never been more important. Unfortunately, fear— fear for our health and for our families— has motivated the panic buying of firearms, particularly by first-time gun owners.[1][2] But fear-purchasing firearms isn’t a way to safety. In fact, research shows the opposite: Bringing a gun into a home makes the home less safe, and this is particularly true in the current moment when domestic violence is increasing.[3][4][5]

Sign on to our letter to governors, urging them to address panic gun buying and reduce the risk of gun violence as part of their efforts to secure everyone’s health and safety in the face of pandemic (scroll down to see the entire message that we’re sending to governors). *When you click, you’ll automatically sign on if we already have your information. 

My 5th Doula Baby is here!

My daughter texts and say,”Mom, please come do your doula thing. I’ll pay you.” Now, how can I say no to an offer like that? So off I went. When I walked in the laboring mom was not alone. She had a her mom, boyfriend, little brother, and dad there,doula her Shawnte so obviously I didn’t know how I would fit in, but very soon, I seen the need.  This teen parents had so much on their mind. Missed working hours, their own major medical appointments, and feeding their own younger children. I sensed quickly that although they were physically there with Shawnte’, they we’re not mentally. That’s why my daughter asked me to come.

Me giving a pain relieving massage.

Me giving a pain relieving massage.

As I entered the door, I sprung into work. after saying hello to everyone, I asked mom to be how she was feeling and gave her, her very 1st gift, a much needed massage. While doing so, I asked her if she knew what was about to happen. How her body would open up a like a lotus flower. I also asked her what did she know about labor and delivery. To my surprise that she knew nothing ,so I filled her in with a clear conversation and pictures between labor pains.

That conversations seemed to relax her a lot, so then we started to discuss other birthing things. When it seemed like she was getting uncomfortable, I started reciting labor affirmations to her. With her being  teen, AND having so many people in the room, she couldn’t really focus on what I was saying so I tried something else….. The birthing ball and Youtube! This warrior was smiling, and singing Katy Perry’s “Hear Me Roar.”

Cervical Dilation

 

 

After cries, scratches, moaning, even more questions, and 30+ hours later Destyn arrived via C Section. No, it wasn’t our plan, but he’s here, healthy and well loved. Mama  deserves a recovery smoothie, Post recovery smoothie by Jabela The Doulaand I earned one on one time with my newest love! All hail Prince Destn!! And yes, my daughter will pay her bill, in spite of the fact, that I loved the job.:)  Whoose next?

Newborn Blessing and birth announcement