Call for Birth Stories!!

•February 11, 2011 • 1 Comment

Hello readers,

Black Women Birthing Resistance would like to invite you to submit your birth stories for inclusion in the project.  Send us your stories of hope, resilience, resistance, trauma, and so on.  We will read through the stories, incorporate them into the curriculum, and post some of them here on the blog.  You will receive email confirmation when we receive your story.  However, because the project is not staffed full-time, we will not be able to review stories immediately upon receiving them.  We will notify you if we are going to post your story on the blog.

If you would like to submit a story, send it to  Also, you can fill out the form on the contact page and type your story in the “Comment” section.

Thanks for your continuing support!


Medicalization & Privatization of Black Bodies

•January 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Historically Black mothers in the South have been criminalized and blamed for social conditions based on a population control ideology that our reproduction is the root cause of economic and environmental degradation, without ever looking at the real causes of war and corporate environmental crises like the BP oil spill.   This mythology has been pervasive in further implicating Black women, and Black mothers in particular, as imminent threats.  This is demonstrated in the South in particular with such conditions as in Louisiana, where health care practitioners blamed the state-of-emergency after Katrina on the overpopulation of Black people, and flooded into storm-ravaged communities offering free sterilizations to Black women.


In addition, the increasing medicalization and privatization of childbirth has affected our access to positive conditions and choices in care for poor Black women and families. One example is the occurrence of cesarean sections amongst Black and Latina women is at an all-time high in the South.  Poor and working class women and women of color are more likely to be subjected to court ordered surgeries, or to be threatened with state intervention and control.  This also includes pushing the role and traditions of Black midwifery out of our communities. In Alabama, only Certified Nurse Midwives are legally authorized to practice in the state, though few attend hospital births, and none attend out-of-hospital births.  Home births are legal in the state, but it is illegal for a midwife to attend them, thereby leaving women fewer choices and ultimate removal from birthing traditions and practices that are rooted in spiritual and political legacies of resiliency for Black and Indigenous folks in the South. In Mississippi, midwifery advocates were working to defeat a measure in the state legislature that would reduce women’s birth options by restricting who is able to perform home births.  These desperate times require us to respond innovatively, creatively and swiftly to what is at stake for our collective survival and traditions.


New Resources!!

•January 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Check out the bibliography and resources page for some amazing books that we have been reading!

“Mom defies doctor, has baby on her own”

•January 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Check out this article from

“She told me, ‘You’re being irresponsible. Your baby could die. You could die,'” Aneka recalls. Then the doctor hung up.
Aneka (she doesn’t want her last name used) had already resolved to not have a C-section, even though the doctor told her it was absolutely necessary. She wasn’t going to be opened up surgically, no matter what her doctor said, no matter what any doctor said.
In some online communities, Aneka is a hero who defied the obstetrical establishment and gave birth her way. To many doctors, however, she’s a risk-taker who put her and her baby in peril by giving birth at home.

New videos!

•January 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Check out the Our Journeys page to view new videos! Also, subscribe to the Black Women Birthing Resistance Channel on Vimeo,
and like our page on

On being a doula, and a “radical”

•January 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I love this post from Mai’a on Outlaw Midwives, especially this piece: “i am realizing that n american midwifery is not going to change any time soon. i mean the term ‘radical’ attached to ‘doula’ or ‘midwife’ has so little meaning. ‘radical’ seems to mean, i support unassisted birthing and women’s choice. but there is no analysis attached to this word ‘radical’ — its a lifestyle choice. it isnt invested in dismantling the abusive structures that are at the root of the violence in n american birth culture. feel me? most of the birth workers that attach the word ‘radical’ to their title are really primarily dedicated to ‘choice’ to those women who have access to that ‘choice’. with a few crumbs doled out — like charity — to those most marginalized. that is just not good enough for me.”


•November 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This space will be dedicated to news and analysis on Black women, birthing, and midwifery.  Please check back often!