As we look back on the past year of triumphs and challenges, I reflect on my personal journey with Mama Sana Vibrant Woman.
I remember my first experience as a volunteer birth companion in December of 2011. I didn’t know what to expect. I entered the bright hospital room, alongside the mother who shared with me beforehand, her deep fears about being in the hospital alone. After being by her side for 15 hours continuously, she gave birth to a healthy baby and was healthy herself. Her gratitude and the bond we made, marked a pivoting moment in my life, where my solidarity for my community went beyond words and into profound action.
Through the years I continued to train as a doula and serve as a volunteer birth companion. Being able to hold space in solidarity for someone during childbirth and pregnancy is more important and necessary today than it was back in 2011. Without midwives and birth companions, many women are not treated with respect during childbirth and respect about their choices in childbirth is at times ignored.
As a woman of color, it has not been easy accessing and pursuing an education in professional birth work. Their are not many opportunities to get paid as I developed my skill set. There were no training programs for someone like me, or training's that allowed me to explore race and social justice and birth. I realized the importance of creating training spaces for people of color like myself and the community.
The MSVW Birth Companion training program means more people like me can learn without leaving their community.
The Birth Companion program for me means as people of color we are able to continue to stand by each other in the best possible way during childbirth and beyond.
Supporting local birth workers of color and providing access to better our choices in reproductive healthcare is important to what we do. We need your help to continue.
Together we can continue to support the choices and experiences of women of color in Central Texas through ensuring quality respectful support. Training the next generation of birth workers in the south.
Birth Support Program Director, Mama Sana Vibrant Woman