Black Maternal Health Week –– Advocating For Your Birth Plan
This week is Black Maternal Health Week, a campaign dedicated to bringing awareness to the values and traditions of the reproductive and birth justice movements, and deepening the conversation about Black maternal health. This week we are centering and amplifying the voices of Black mamas and experts in the maternal health field. We're kicking off the week with a collective post by three mamas, including our own Solly teammate, Simmandi!
Simmandi | @simmandi | mama of two (and Solly Baby Social Media Assistant!)
If you’re someone who takes time to think about all the “what ifs” and you spend time putting together a birthing plan, make sure you have someone who will speak up when you can’t because you if you don't know…giving birth is no walk in the park.
That person for me was my sweet nurse, Emily.
She took my birthing plan, read over it alone, read over it with me, memorized it, and made sure nothing happened that I didn’t want to happen. I remember having to have an emergency C-section with my first baby, Zion. That alone is terrifying! I had been in labor for 21 hours when the doctor came in to let my husband, mama, and I know that he had to take Zion out via emergency cesarean. I felt completely at peace because I knew that I was going in with an amazing team, and nurse Emily had made sure up to that point that my birthing plan was respected.
As they took me into the operating room, I heard nurse Emily say “No forceps, doctor!” She explained to him that he needed to try harder to get my baby out because I didn’t want the use of forceps a part of my delivery process, which he acknowledged and successfully delivered my beautiful baby boy!
Having Emily allowed my husband and mama to focus on me, and gave me that peace of mind to focus on bringing my beautiful boy into this world. I will forever be thankful for that sweet nurse who was the best advocate I could ever ask for!
Alexus | @alexuscarol_ | mama of two
My biggest practice while preparing for birth was, trusting my body. I trusted my body that it was doing exactly what needed to be done. I didn’t stress over any changes but embraced them instead. I took care of myself mentally and physically, or at least tried! Pregnancy hormones are a 100!
I wish I could have had a at home birth and/or a doula. I tried my best staying informed from the media but no one supports you like a doula! For example I didn’t want to cut my babies cord until about 30 minutes, but because the doctor had other babies to deliver and patients to see it was rushed. I had an induction with my second and last baby. I think maybe I should’ve waited for him to be ready. He was full term, but he wasn’t ready yet. (Part of don’t rush the process embrace it instead)
I wish I also went out more often and didn’t use my pregnancy as an excuse not to leave the house. Being pregnant may feel like a heavy load and exhausting but there is so much beauty that is overlooked. You’re creating a whole human. When you really think about it that’s so POWERFUL. Trust your body. Don’t doubt its creativity and process. We were meant for this!
Rachel | @rachelnicks | mama of two
Never forget you are a Queen.
Educate yourself so that you enter your birth empowered so that you leave thriving.
Take a childbirth education class, lactation class, hire a doula, I encourage you work with a midwife, and also have a lactation session booked postpartum.
You can do it all but DO NOT DO IT ALL.
Rest after you have your baby. Have support in place. Ask questions and ask for help.
Take the time to process your birth and share how you are feeling.
Only you know what is best for you and your baby!
Never give up your power, "Birth Queen".