All people deserve a safe and positive birth experience, but all too often that is not the case for Black people. Meet doulas and midwives who reflect on how to center Black birthing people and ensure that every person has respectful, culturally aligned care that meets their needs and keeps them safe.
While it is completely normal to feel stress or fear around pregnancy, labor, and parenthood, remember that hope and joy are important parts of your journey too. Take this time to ask the questions on your mind, create a birth plan, and prepare for the newest addition to your family — you got this!
The care you receive after birth is just as important as during your pregnancy. Meet doctors, midwives, doulas, lactation consultants and new parents who share what the postpartum period is really like and how to find the support and care you need.
All people deserve a safe and positive birth experience, but all too often that is not the case for people who have language barriers. Meet doulas and midwives who reflect on how to ensure that every person has respectful, culturally aligned care that meets their needs and keeps them safe.
someone who speaks up or asks questions on behalf of themselves or someone else
a home-like facility that is not a hospital where healthy people with low-risk pregnancies can give birth in the midwifery model of care
a trained healthcare professional who helps arrange clinical care and connect birthing people with educational and support resources
someone who is professionally trained to be a resource for information about pregnancy and childbirth who also cares for the well-being of pregnant people; a general term that usually includes midwives, doctors, and nurses who care for birthing people as well as supportive team members such as doulas or lactation consultants
a way to position yourself during labor or to give birth, such as standing, side-lying, squatting, and kneeling
when the muscles of the uterus tighten and then relax to help push the baby out during labor
care that honors and integrates a person’s cultural identity and preferences, provided by people who share the culture or are knowledgeable and respectful of the culture
to open. Typically the birthing person’s cervix will begin dilating in the last weeks of pregnancy; in labor the cervix will dilate to about 10 cm to let the baby out.
a group of hormones made in the brain that, when released, reduce pain and increase relaxation as contractions grow stronger
making milk in the breasts, and/or feeding a baby from the chest.
OB is short for obstetrician and GYN is short for gynecologist. An obstetrician is a healthcare professional who delivers babies and provides pregnancy-related care, while a gynecologist is a healthcare professional who specializes in vaginal care and reproductive health
a bodily response to maintain health or promote normal function
before birth / during pregnancy
a plan listing the birthing individual’s preferences during labor, such as medical interventions, options for pain relief, and labor positions
the person who will give birth to the baby. See also birthing person; pregnant person
a surgical procedure (used instead of vaginal birth) to deliver a baby by cutting into the abdomen and the uterus. Also known as a C-section
a trained professional who provides physical, emotional and informational support before, during and shortly after birth (birth doula) or in the postpartum period (postpartum doula). Doulas with full-spectrum training may also support people during and after pregnancy loss or abortion. Doulas do not have medical training, are not medically licensed, and do not provide medical advice.
a medicine injected through the birthing person’s back into a space near the spine to numb the pain of childbirth. Once an epidural is given, the birthing individual generally does not have feeling in the lower half of their body.
happening during pregnancy or related to pregnancy
a licensed healthcare professional trained to provide reproductive and primary care including care during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. Midwives specialize in low-risk pregnancies and well-person care, and may collaborate with physicians and other healthcare providers in the care of people who need advanced medical care or surgery.
illness, injury, or poor health
around the time of birth
a trained healthcare professional who diagnoses patients and provides treatment. Includes doctors, midwives, nurse practitioners, and physicians assistants.
speaking up for yourself, your needs and your desires so you can make informed decisions and have your decisions respected
when a provider and a patient work together to make a health care decision that is best for the patient. The optimal decision takes into account evidence-based information about options, the provider’s knowledge and experience, and the patient’s values and preferences.
anyone in the pregnant person’s life whose purpose is to physically or emotionally support them