Friday Four: Black Maternal Health Week


Black women are up to four times more likely to die than white women from pregnancy-related causes, including stillbirths, premature births, lower infant birth-weight, and miscarriages. And that’s why I’m celebrating with many other organizations, legislators, moms, and dads for the second Black Maternal Health Week! Our goal is to improve african american mothers’ reproductive justice, and birth justice frameworks. As a holistic doula, and mom of nine, I couldn’t be any more grateful for these efforts!

Doing a quick search online, I’ve seen a lot of federal and local support. I was pleasantly surprised to see our very own congresswoman Alma Adams putting in ground breaking work.
BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH ADVOCATES RESPOND TO RESOLUTION INTRODUCED TODAY BY CONGRESSWOMAN ALMA ADAMS OFFICIALLY DECLARING APRIL 11-17 AS “BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH WEEK”


On April 9, freshman Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (right) joined Rep. Alma Adams and co-launched the first first-ever Black Maternal Health Caucus

“It’s unconscionable that in United States, one of the world’s wealthiest countries, we are seeing the rates of illness and death during pregnancy continue to skyrocket. For Black women, the statistics surrounding maternal mortality and morbidity are especially alarming,” said Black Mamas Matter Alliance Co-Directors Elizabeth Dawes Gay and Angela Doyinsola Aina. “Two days after BMMA joined Reps. Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood in launching the first Black Maternal Health Caucus to address this urgent crisis, we’re excited to see Senator Harris and Rep. Adams introduce a resolution officially recognizing April 11-17 as “Black Maternal Health Week” — a nationwide effort to amplify the voices, leadership and scholarship of Black women working to improve maternal health, rights and justice for Black mamas. Now it’s time for other lawmakers to follow suit by enacting policies and legislation at the state and federal levels that empower and support Black women before, during and after pregnancy.” – Black Mammas Matter Alliance

Although there is a lot of work to be done, we have gained strives by highlighting the birth stories from stars like Serena Williams and Beyoncé — Williams, 37, underwent an emergency c-section and endured a a pulmonary embolism and Beyoncé, 37, suffered from preeclampsia and also had an emergency c-section. Truth is, there are more blacks moms out here suffering than these two, and it’s great to see so many public figures, organizations and legislatures getting on board.


The health and well being of women before, during, & after pregnancy demands our undivided attention now. Proud to be a Founding Member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus as we celebrate – Rep A. Pressley
Image result for ayanna pressley

Ayanna Soyini Pressley is an American politician who is the member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts’s 7th congressional distric

I believe everybody should be able to get equitable health care. – Kelle Pressley

So as you can see, awareness is growing. For those who do not have a reliable, knowledgeable community, or family support, we doulas provide this information and support for you. Here in Charlotte, I will continue doing my part. It takes a village. I hope you will contribute to your village by sharing this information with someone who needs it.

Here’s what I found online. Sunday April 14th Death By Delivery -Brought to you by
by Rock Hill Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Wednesday the 17th Birthing POC’s Webinar Brought to you by yours truly, Jabela the doula.
I will be sharing very candid snippets of my nine births, why I wanted to be a doula and work in community activism. I will also have other providers of color throughout the day covering everything from why we are needed, how we work in your birthing team, to exercises for pregnant moms. Write down a few of your own questions and join in! My practice is privately funded but I often discount or donate many hours to low income moms both online and locally. (Well, until I get my medical provider number from Medicaid) Right now many of my white clients sustain my birthing business. They confidently buy most of my lactation teas, salves, etc and hire any referrals offered to them. They are usually quicker follow my diet plans to the letter. My mothers of color come to me with built in fear and uncertainty. Affordability, necessity and relativity are their biggest reservations at first. Once we are past those hurdles, I see how much they appreciate my presence as a provider that looks like them. Much of what they feel I can understand to a certain degree, because I speak their language, and understand things that another provider might not. I’m their voice, a powerful link to local resources and favorite sister. Getting past everyday stress, connecting her to essential resources and access to proper care is detrimental. My moms enjoy soothing back massages, answering “odd” questions, troubleshooting pregnancy woes, birth plan creation, belly casting, hip pushing between contractions, help with new baby latch on, make a fresh post delivery recovery smoothie right after birth,cooking a delicious hot meal once home, officiate her welcome to the world celebration, come back by your home for a few hours for her to get uninterrupted rest, all of which, means so much more to my moms of color.

No doubt, it’s hard to change practices that have been done a certain way for many years. But it can be done. Join in, get out of your silo and encourage birth workers of color and our work, inclusively doulas and midwives. Support the efforts of organizations like Momsrising.org and Black Mammas Alliance, because BLACK MOMS NEED DOULAS.

The Black maternal health crisis deserves more media attention. If you have maternity pictures you would like to share, please drop them on my facebook or Instagram page. Find me @qcsupermom EVERYWHERE!
I’m changing birth one birth at a time. Join me!

Here’s Four Additional Things I Offer In My Holistic Doula Service: 1. Officiate Welcome To The World Ceremony.

2.Live Workouts with Online Mommies

3. Fresh,Organic post Delivery Smoothies

4. Free Childwatch during Labor & Delivery until discharge.

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Wednesday Wow: Paying Your Doula

 

Would you love to hire a Doula but you honestly can’t afford one? Fear not! Your Health Insurance may cover it!

Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain – your life will never be the same.
– Catherine Jones

So you’re having a baby huh? Congrats! Things are about to be change in a beautiful way! 

Young African American Woman Pregnant isolated on a black backgr

Grab a bowl of oatmeal and relax. I did it 9 times, you’ll be okay.

 

I love being a Charlotte doula. I not only help couples before conception, but I also get to help them  during and after delivery. (Check out my Facebook page)

I love attending births.  I love how it makes me feel.  I love how it makes the mom feel.  I love making a difference in other peoples’ lives.

Charlotte has a great selection of professional doulas, and I am proud to be among some of the best in the business. IF I COULD DO IT FOR FREE I WOULD. But I can’t. Aside from the cost of education, books, workshops, continued education, and advertising (website, cards, brochures), we also take into consideration the time that it takes for all of these as well as out of pocket expenses.

In the grand scheme of things, you’re paying for an invaluable service during your pregnancy, labor, and birth. The difference a doula can make during this time is often priceless. The least that can be done is pay her asking fee.  If you need help with that, look no further than your maternity Insurance. (See My Webpage)

www.http://thepinkgrasshopperbirth.webs.com/

As a doula, one of the first questions I’m asked is, will my HMA pay for your services?  Here’s the short answer:

Expenses paid for a doula who’s primary purpose is for delivery of the infant are reimbursable. Charges where the primary purpose is child care after delivery are not covered. An explanation of the primary purpose should accompany the claim.

The following is a partial list of insurance companies have reimbursed in whole or in part for doula services:
Aetna Healthcare

AltPro
Baylor Health Care System/WEB TPA
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Blue Cross/ Blue Shield PPO
Cigna
Degussa, a German Chemical Company
Elmcare, LLC, C/O North American Medical Management
Foundation for Medical Care
Fortis Insurance
Glencare Managed Health Inc.
Great-West Life & Annuity Ins. Co.
HNTB (Peoria, IL)
Houston New England Financial, Employee Benefits (Fort Scott, KS)
Humana Employers Health
Lutheran General Physician’s Organization
Maritime Life
Medical Mutual
Oschner HMO, Louisiana
Professional Benefits Administrators
Prudential Healthcare
Qualchoice
Summit Management Services, Inc
Travelers
United HealthCare of Georgia (San Antonio, TX)
United Health POS
Wausau Benefits, Inc

 

Note: I would ask the doula for her NPI (National Provider Number It may or may not be an issue. Find out before hiring her. or it may be coming completely out of your pockets.

~~~~ON NEXT Monday, I’ll tell you the procedure to filing your doula fees~~~~

HSA qualifications vary; including Medicad. For some insurance companies may want you to identify as an out of network licensed healthcare provider and may make it easier to get reimbursement to your clients.  Depends on the insurance company and the state insurance laws.

I tell my clients to get their OBGYN to write them a prescription for me (a doula) One day Blue Cross Blue Shield called me directly just to ask if I was a doula in their network  and I was so proud to say, “Not yet but I am a certified doula .”  (Via my  numerous clients birth records and doula registration receipts) But they didn’t ask for them . So far, getting paid has never been an issue for me. My clients are instructed to submit receipts through their health insurance coverage, not a flex spending.

Feel free to check out my Pintrest board on ‘Pregnancy’. It’s the rated board for doulas! I’m sure you’ll find great information there.

If this hasn’t helped, just go to your HSA . They should have a third party administrator who can answer this for you.

Here are some beautiful quotes on pregnancy. Click here!

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

Wednesday WoW: Kelly and Micheal, here’s your UnStoppable Mom!

Sometimes when I allow myself to start decorating for a pity party, friends like Margot pop in and remind me why I can’t slow down or quit! She was talking about me and here’s what she said.

When I heard Kelly and Michael introduce this contest (The Unstoppable Mom Contest )   on LIVE, the first thing that came to mind was I had to contact Kelle Perkins, as she is the original Unstoppable Mom!! I know a lot of really great mothers, doing wonderful things, but Kelle is THE Unstoppable Mom! She is creative, intuitive, caring, smart, and clever and effortlessly manages a household of seven children (and a husband!) ranging in age from 16 years to twenty months and homeschools everyone except the baby!us fa

There is NOTHING that she can’t do and she welcomes a challenge and is very passionate/persistent in everything she does and makes it all look so effortless.

Kelle is organized and schedules out her day to give the necessary attention to the children’s academics, as well as managing her home and giving back to the community. In addition, to the seven children currently at home, has a 21 year old son, who is on a basketball scholarship for Hampton University, and the family attends as many games as they can and form a cheering section all of their own, inviting many friends and relatives to join them. I don’t even know where to start, in describing this delightful, energetic, organized, loving, proud, engaging and unstoppable Mom. Kelle received her AA Degree in Travel and Tourism and then a BA Degree from Johnson and Wales, majoring in Hospitality. She credits much of her success to the education she received at Johnson and Wales, as she is able to make her education applicable to her family life and to an organization she founded-The Queen City Stay At Home Mom’s!! This organization was developed as many mothers were asking her “How to and How do you do” questions about being a mother ie. how do you breast feed and on and on, thus a niche was created and she has filled it beautifully, and expanded upon this, now also being a Doula and educating expectant mothers and carrying on with this education to the actual birth and beyond.

I love this!

I love this!

This 38 year old mother is a networking pro and loves the atmosphere of “bringing something to the table” with everything she does. In this particular situation, she has restaurants ready to give the new parents a MOM jervonwonderful free dinner at home after each birth, babysitters on hand to help with younger siblings, and is “on call” to help with any/all questions from now on!!. In becoming a Doula, Kelle has shared her passion with her daughters, and 14 year old Cassie, is becoming a little entrepreneur just like her mother! She started a cookie company called “Cassie’s Sweetz.” This is no ordinary cookie company though, as it is geared toward the lactating woman, who is either having trouble with her milk coming in or wants to make sure she keeps her ability to lactate.

cassie strawberryCassie, with the with the help of her innovative mother, developed these cookies from doing much research into healthy ingredients that would lend itself to this purpose and then took it one step further to finding these ingredients at a reasonable cost and incorporating them into a delicious, nutritious cookie!! She also employs a very “green” mentality and has a motto of recycle, reduce and reuse; she recycles containers, such as oatmeal containers and decorates them very whimsically, and them fills them with her homemade cookies and ships them off to her customers.

My number 8 and 9 learning how to feed themselves= Priceless!

My number 8 and 9 learning how to feed themselves= Priceless!

Kelle has a definite vision for her children; she wants them to demonstrate character, manners, independence, and good nutrition, along with empowering and educating them in so many ways, and it’s obvious to all that she is bringing up very success oriented, wonderful children. Kelle home schools the children in the mornings and then the afternoons are spent gardening, where they grow much of their own vegetable and have enough to share with others, organizing cooking classes with her mom’s group, or being servants to the community and volunteering. One of the family’s favorites is working at Loaves and Fishes, a local soup kitchen. She feels that being a well-rounded individual is most important so finds creative ways to inexpensively expose her children to the arts, whether it be a play at a local university; several of the younger boys are a ball boys for UNC-Charlotte, which gives them a sense of responsibility and enables the family to have a family gathering on the house!ball

In 2005, Kelle lost 11 year old Mya, (Yes, a mother to nine children!) to an auto immune disease. From the initial diagnosis to her death it was only a few months. Kelle spoke at Mya’s wake and even though she was a grieving mother, she wanted to keep this time upbeat, positive and a testament to the wonderful wit this child had, instead of burying her head in the sand and wishing her pain and anguish would go away. She has great faith in God and knew that she had to trust him and keep on going for her family’s survival.baking  vinge

This loss, made her question whether this death was because of something environmental, so in 2013 after much research, she joined MomsRising, and participated in the Stroller Brigade to make a presentation to Congress about reforming the laws on toxins. Kelle also is busy doing product reviews for companies and then passes on the product info and giveaways to her Queen City Stay at Home Moms. An example of this is her work with local supermarkets, ie. Earth Fare, as they are exemplary in supporting education for children’s wellness and health.

She also created and coordinates the annual Total Children’s Wellness Fair and does this solely through her networking contacts/businesses. This energetic and unstoppable mom lives in Charlotte, NC with her beautiful family and is married to Roger, a US veteran, who is currently attending college, so there is never a dull moment in the Pressley-Perkins household. If I was to ever win a reward of this size I already know how it’ll be spent! There’s so much to do.But even if I don’t I know that I’m the richest person I know. For I have excellent friends and a wonderful family! God Is Fantastic!

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