KWhole Apoethecary Rescriptions — Rx #8

Rx #8: Black Midwifery History and Current Black Midwife/Doula Organizations

Black women, non-binary/genderfluid people and transmen face many challenges when it comes to birthing, reproductive health and maternal and infant mortality rates. Healthcare systems are embedded with problematic practices and education based on medical and scientific racism. A few days I was fortunate enough to take a workshop from Gullah Geechee Herbal Gathering with Lucretia VanDyke who included the names of various Black midwives in history. This was important for me to know after finding out today about Ina May Gaskins, a well-known white midwife and her comments in response to Black mothers talking about systemic racism’s affect on our infant and mortality rates. You can read more about it in this Yes Magazine article. But instead of focusing on her here, I want to focus on sharing a list of resources about Black women midwives and organizations focused on Black reproductive health to support.

Mary Stepp Burnette Hayden (and Mary Othella Burnett’s, her granddaughter’s book)

Henrietta Phelps Jeffries

Emma Dupree

Mary Francis Hill Coley

Onnie Lee Logan

Follow Lucretia VanDyke’s work on instagram as she is researching and collecting stories for a book on Black healers and midwives.

Here are some organizations and midwives/doulas to support:

Harlem Birthing Action Committee (Rest in peace and power to Nonkululeko Tyehemba, who was a founding member and midwife of the organization)

National Black Midwives Alliance

National Birth Equity Collaborative

Mama Glow Foundation

Black Doulas


Ancient Song Doula Services

Pearl Consulting

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