Every time I post about maternal and infant mortality that’s happening for black birthing people and families I’m often met with some version of some passive aggressive response. I get DMs from people saying “but this isn’t happening in Australia”, or “maternal mortality rates have improved” or “you’re scaring people by sharing these really peripheral stories”. Guess what? I’m not here to make you feel comfortable. We have a genuine health crisis that’s occurring on a global level. Get out of your frickin bubble – particularly if you are a white, cis gendered woman sending me these messages. I don’t share these stories to tick a box, or for some sort of gold star – I share them because I give a shit. The fact that black women are up to five times more likely to die in birth then white women is a phenomenal health crisis. I’m not an expert. There is a LOT about birth and trauma that I don’t know and I’m not shy to admit that. I’m sure this comes across in many of the interviews I’ve conducted on this podcast! But do you what’s a really easy thing to do – is reach and have a conversation. Actively choose to have conversations with people who aren’t in your bubble. Dr Sayida Peprah is one of those beautiful people I reached out to. Like me, she is a Clinical Psychologist. She’s also a doula and the founder and lead trainer of Diversity Uplifts. Part of her work is training people to see their implicit bias and working towards compassion rather than fear mongering and coercion. In this episode we chat about language in the birth space and this phrase “no time for…” I’m sure you’ve heard it. There’s an emergency situation in a birth and people will insist that there’s no time for niceties. And yet, as Psychologists, we are defying this myth every day. A Psychologist’s job, in part, is to navigate emergencies – talking people down from suicide or homicide. Hostage situations where people have a knife, a gun or a bomb. We manage to be calm and care for people with a quiet voice. We don’t rush, yell at people, talk down to them or ignore them. We make a human connection. We help people feel seen, heard and safe. If our child is hurt, we explain what is happening, we reassure them that they are seen and heard and acknowledge their fears and pain. These are skills I want translated into the birth space.
You can find Dr Peprah at www. Drsayidauplifts.org and on Instagram @drsayida You are more powerful than you know. If birth workers and the people they serve remember that they are powerful, then we will change the world.
Birth trauma training for birthworkers the online course is now more accessible than ever! Over 350 birth workers have snapped it up for less than $14.00AU! The price fluctuates according to sales the platform is running, but rest assured it will remain under $99 for the foreseeable future. https://www.udemy.com/course/birth-trauma-training-for-birth-workers/?referralCode=ABA1D879884EBBF44BA4