As a Black woman and mother of four kids, three of whom I birthed, I know firsthand that becoming a mother is an incredible, joyful adventure.
It’s also a journey that can be costly, stressful, and in some cases, life-threatening, especially if you are a Black woman or non-binary parent.
During all three of my pregnancies, I faced serious complications. During labor with my first child, my nurse laughed at me when I shared my birth plan with her. And I had a team of nurses barking orders at me, contorting my body in a way that made labor more painful and challenging. I felt ignored, confused, and powerless. It was a traumatizing experience that I thought was normal and acceptable. It is not.
During labor with my third child, I had a doula, and it made a world of difference. My baby was in a posterior position and through the guidance and support of my doula and midwife, I was able to give birth vaginally without injury to me or my baby. Despite the fact that one of my doctors was disrespectful to me during labor and ignored my needs and requests.
After giving birth, I had a lengthy bout of postpartum depression. It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Thankfully, a friend recommended hiring a night nurse. We had a nurse named Rhonda that came to our house several times per week so that I never went more than two days without a good night’s sleep. Having a night nurse also provided major relief to the intense anxiety and depression I experienced during the first 6 months after giving birth.
Fortunately, I made a full recovery and felt well supported, mainly because I had the financial means to get help. Of course, this is not the case for all Black women.
I believe that every Black mother should have a doula by her side, if she wants one, during labor. I believe that every Black mother should have access to a night nurse to provide nighttime support and allow her to recover from childbirth. I believe every working Black mother should have access to a safe childcare provider she can trust.
This is why I started The Hello Seven Foundation.
By making a contribution to the Hello Seven Foundation, you are making a powerful impact on a mother’s life, and the life of her children.
Make a contribution today in your name or in honor of someone you love.
Because of your generosity, a Black mother will have a safe labor and delivery, be supported postpartum, and have access to earn a living with the support of safe, trustworthy childcare.
My company, Hello Seven Inc., has made an initial contribution of $50,000 to The Hello SevenFoundation. We invite you to donate whatever you can. Together, we can easily double that amount.
We can’t wait around passively, hoping for systems to improve.
We have to take matters into our hands and create change now.