I just became a member of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC)! ICTC was founded by Shafia Monroe, and is a 'infant mortality prevention, breastfeeding promotion, midwife and doula training non-profit organization,' that aims to increase the amount of midwives of color, and is based in nearby Portland, OR.
Lately, I have been interested in learning more about birth practices among women of color. I believe my desire to examine this area comes from an eagerness to go deeper with breastfeeding advocacy, and to increase my knowledge by exploring the social, cultural and political links that support barriers that exist in birth and breastfeeding traditions. I'm really interested in learning more about Black lay midwifery, and have already been adding 'must read' texts to my wishlist. Some of those can be seen here. I think this is a start to beginning that search.
Even though becoming a member of ICTC is not required, because I really value their outlook and mission, and because they're close enough for me to travel to, this is also where I have decided to pursue the Full Circle Doula Training to become a postpartum doula -- I am hoping to sign up for December's course. I'm happy to be more connected with this organization and community of people who emphasize decreasing the maternal and infant mortality rate by increasing the breastfeeding and birth rates among Black women. And I'm happy I'm one step closer to becoming a doula.