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!

Friday Four: Baby Sitter Money Tips

 

One of my  daughters is a private baby sitter.  She is CPR certified and has taken many continued education classes so she may remain in high demand. She’s a natural! As a big sister to five younger siblings, she’s able to baby sit for moms groups, business meetings, private parties, and now she now assistant other doulas while at the hospital serving laboring mothers.

tbsHaving a quality, trusted, babysitter is very rare. The process of finding one is a headache alone. But when you find one, many wonder, how will they pay for her.

And guess what? It’s only getting higher! While I don’t agree with that, I do believe that a great baby sitter is worth a good penny.

It costs to learn new skills,training, certifications, transportation to and from service locations and it’s also a symbol of  proper expectation.

My daughter charges up to  $12.00.per hour.  Her clients LOVE her. She brings toys, books, loads of energy , experience in autistic, multiples, and newborns. She also hires other teens like her to help as needed. Most people like her prices, everyone don’t. It’s usually the ones that want her, but can’t afford the rate. The comfort and well being of your child will always be your number one priority, but quality childcare doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Follow these tips and find an option that works for your family.

  1. Share Your Sitter- If you are planing on hanging out with your friends, why not share the baby sitting cost. It does a couple of things. It gives the kids an instant play date, and saves each parent money.
  2. Barter- My daughter loves getting her nails done, nice shoes, and great food. If you have any of these things, ask to trade instead of using money. Teens like my daughter will accept. Just ask  first to verify it’s acceptable. With both the teen sitter  and her parents.

According to UrbanSitter’s 2014 Childcare Rate Survey of nine large metro areas, the average babysitter wage paid in New York City is$15.34 per hour while in Denver it’s $10.84 per hour

3. Join a progressive mom group. – Queen City Stay At Home Moms offers discount child

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care rates to their premium members.

4.Take The Credit.     If you use registered child care or pay a babysitter to care for your children, you can deduct at least a portion of your expenses for income tax purposes.

    • Expenses are deductible for the care of dependent children, under the age of 16.
    • Babysitters may be related to you (but not a parent to your child) and must be over 17 years of age.
    • The child care deduction is limited to two-thirds of earned income, or $4,000 a year per child aged seven to 16; $7,000 a year per child under seven years; and up to $10,000 a year for each disabled child.
    • For details of child care options in your area, contact your province’s child care licensing agency.

Bonus- Sign up for a Flexible Spending Account
If your employer offers this option, use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to set aside money for child care. You can include up to $5,000 before taxes

caredotcom-babysitter-infographic-2015.jpg
In closing , be strategic! At The Big Sister, most families look for care during the summer. The more affordable and experienced caregivers get grabbed early and day care slots fill up quickly. Start your search soon and don’t wait until the last minute.Well, there you have it! You have no reason to avoid date night away from the house, a business meeting at home ,or a fun Moms Night Out! You can afford it!

PLEASE READ- From Care.Com- Great Area- Fee based Information! 

And I DOULA!

I was asked during a recent interview,“How do you handle being a doula when you have young kids?” My answer:I love what I do, I have an supportive family and a wonderful gym membership!” (read more on that here: )  Jabela the doula

I think most moms would do well at it! The truth is, giving birth is strikingly similar to mothering: It’s usually chaotic, sometimes stressful, rarely pretty, never easy. You might feel like you’re failing even when you’re not; sometimes, it will feel impossible. But you’ll press through anyway, because forward is the only option. When you do, your doula will be with you. Not just because she’s been there, but because she loves it and lives it!

For those who do not know what a dolua is I’ll explain. Benefits of a Doula

A doula is “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

A Birth Doula  Ashley hired  doula Jabelaa

  • Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
  • Stays with the woman throughout the labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
  • Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.

 

A Postpartum Doula

  • Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
  • Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
  • Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary

Postpartum doula

It’s World Doula Week -Mar ch 22-28th

The purpose of World Doula Week (“WDW”) is to empower doulas all over the world to improve the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period.

Here’s a little more information onAshley -with Jabela the  Doula

postpartum-recovery

My doula service, The Pink Grasshopper is named after my oldest daughter.  I have great holistic mom /baby supplies over there.

I’m on Twitter too. Follow me over here also. I’ll start a few raffles soon once I get some traffic over there .

Check out my Pinterest Board!It’s LOADED with hard to find birthing information!

Need to increase your milk supply? Buy these awesome lactation treats! Cassie is a teen baker from Charlotte NC and makes all sorts of GMO, Vegan and Organic treats!  – Cassie Sweetz

Now Go Have A baby and call me in the morning,

QC Supermom