As the world, our country, and our individual communities continue to shine a light on the importance of Black Lives, we want to make sure that Black Maternal Health stays at the top of that list. Because without Black Mothers and Black Birthing People…there is no Black Life.
I’m Ashley-Nicole: a producer, a mother and a wife. I’m from New Orleans and I’ve been married to my college sweetheart for over 12 years. I’ve given birth to three healthy children naturally in my home with the help from midwives and doulas. Why? Because the statistics behind black maternal and infant mortality are really scary. I mean, if I gave birth in a hospital, the probability of me dying before, during or after childbirth is 12 times higher than that of any white woman.
I was tired of my white, male doctor telling me, “You’re strong. You can handle it. You’ll be fine.” No, sir, I’m not fine. Historically, white doctors have believed that black people are impervious to pain. Frankly, my doctor ignoring the data, and my statement of emotional fear and physical discomfort is indicative of systemic racism and implicit bias. Needless to say, he’s not my doctor anymore.