Embarking on the journey to become a Black midwife comes with its unique set of challenges, particularly when there’s a noticeable absence of seasoned Black midwives to guide the way. In such a crucial time, the importance of Black students coming together in community cannot be overstated.
Connecting with mentors plays a pivotal role in navigating this uncharted territory. I was fortunate to find my mentor, Tanya Khemet Taiwo, a local Certified Professional Midwife, through the National Black Midwives Alliance (NBMA). Their mission is to establish a representative voice at the national level that organizes, advocates, and brings visibility to the issues impacting Black midwives and the communities they serve. NBMA did a commendable job of aligning me with someone who shares my values, goals, and overall commitment to the cause.
Joining collectives and midwifery student communities provides an ongoing source of information and updates about midwifery culture. The BIPOC Student Midwives Fund has also been instrumental in my personal journey, offering financial assistance, skills sharing, and resources within the SF Bay Area. Their goal is to reduce barriers for BIPOC students becoming midwives by increasing access to skills, funding, and community. The presence of more BIPOC midwives in communities ensures that families have choices in safe, culturally competent care, fostering respect and empowerment. The BIPOC Student Midwives Fund has become a safe place for me, allowing the acquisition of skills, interaction with local midwives, and connection with both newly licensed and seasoned midwives to learn the ins and outs of clinical care.
In addition, joining community social media groups and participating in community midwifery skill shares offer valuable opportunities for networking and learning. It is through these avenues that I’ve come to appreciate the significance of a local midwifery community. While seasoned Black midwives may be scarce, the support and resources provided by the mentioned groups offer a lifeline for Black student midwives, shaping a future where we, too, can become the seasoned professionals who guide the next generation.
“Guiding Birth, Nurturing Life”