Taken from the Office of Minority Health

So, I’ve tried to stay away from Twitter as long as I could but recently I’ve been obsessed with it. I have to say being able to follow other like-minded mamas (breastfeeding, cloth diapering, vegan, possible homeschooling) has truly been God-sent.

It was during one of my manic-induced tweeting fits that Sista Midwife reminded me that September was National Infant Mortality Awareness Month!She tweeted:

Hey folks…. if you didn’t know… September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month.

And then another:

Spread the word folks!! We hav 2 wrk 2gether to #decreaseinfantmortality. Healthy babies is EVERYBODY’s business #incaseyouwereconfused

As a birth worker committed to vocalizing and advocating for a critical look at disparities in birth outcomes amongst Black or African American women, I immediately began to think about what I want– no! what I need to do– to increase the awareness. I knew my upcoming weekend would help me figure out what that could be.

This past Saturday my day was full of birth business. It started with the ICTC IL-Chicago Member Group Meetup. Every month the IL-Chicago members of ICTC or the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (the only national organization for midwives, healers, and birth workers of color) meet to discuss birth work and health disparities, to plan our events, and to just plain o’ commune. Yes! It’s so refreshing to meet new sisters every month who are passionate and filled with the desire to change “birth” in our communities.

The babies, the stories, the sharing, the revolution…it all happens there. I’m always happy to met and commune with such powerful Black women. To get more info about ICTC IL-Chicago Members Group, events, and meeting times, please contact ICTC State Representative, Rayna Brown at ictcilchicago@gmail.com.

From talking about birth I moved to celebrating a life. 

After the meeting I went to the memorial service for a dear colleague, Christina Santiago. When life comes to a full circle we are left with death. Death is something I still have a hard time with. Christina’s service was beautiful and the words folks shared about her were so loving and so intimate. She was such an asset to the community, so funny…so amazing. 

I am so grateful to have known her.

The last stop on my informative day was the More Business of Being Born screening hosted by the Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives and .:Seeds:. Literary Arts Journal. I was asked to be on the panel alongside several other local birth workers and activists. The turnout was very impressive. It was great to see so many folks supporting the fight for the legalization (and hopefully decriminalization) of Certified Professional Midwives in Illinois. I was so honored to have been invited to speak and used the opportunity to advocate of mamas of color who desperately need birth options.

Needless to say, after a fulfilling day, I am still unsure about what I will do about bringing awareness to infant mortality.

I just hope by writing this post I’m at least moving in the right direction…

What will you do about infant mortality?

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