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Ministry of Health: Let’s start a new birthing movement

By Nisa Islam Muhammad -Staff Writer- | Last updated: Mar 8, 2018 - 8:08:11 PM

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Panelists during Saviours’ Day workshop on natural childbirth. Photos: Courtney X

CHICAGO—For many, a hospital is the best choice a family has when considering where to deliver their baby.  However, according to presenters at the “Returning to Natural Birth Away from the Hospital Environment,” there are other choices to consider. If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy this was the workshop for you on Saturday, February 24 at Saviours’ Day.

The process of where to deliver begins with choosing a provider explained Asasiya Muhammad, Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) at Inner City Midwifery practice in Philadelphia.

“For midwives, birth is a social event that takes place at home or in another familiar location,” she said.  “In the medical model, childbirth is always potentially dangerous.  The woman is a patient and doctors are always required,” she added.

Audience listens during Ministry of Health workshop on “Returning to Natural Birth Away from the Hospital Environment.”

“Risk is a key factor in choosing a place to give birth.  Normal pregnancy is low risk and is best managed outside of the hospital.  High risk is best managed with medical care.  Midwives identify the risk and identify everyone’s normal which is different,” explained Asasiya Muhammad.

The workshop introduced the concept of a doula to the audience as well.  Victoria Muhammad from Atlanta, Amina Muhammad from Los Angeles and Meshawn X Tarver from New Orleans talked about their work as doulas around the country serving a variety of women, girls and families.

Doulas can encompass a range of responsibilities such as birth assistants, child birth educators, post-partum educators, lactation advocates/educators, hand holders, shoulders to cry on, inspirers and so much more.

“Doulas help lower premature births and the cesarean rates,” said Ms. Tarver.  “We have a call to action.  Why are we not breastfeeding?  Why are we going to the hospital to deliver?  We need to collaborate and ensure that our children are born in the right manner.  Become a doula, be a support person.”

Aminah Muhammad explained that there is a state of emergency going on in the Black community regarding child birth.  “They don’t care about us.  I’ve worked with Jewish women for years and I’ve seen the treatment they receive.  What we receive is like night and day,” she said.

“Why would you want to put drugs in your baby from the start?  You are bringing life into the world that you have the opportunity to shape and form.”

Victoria Muhammad introduced the workshop with quotes from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan about pregnancy, “Prepare your body and mind for what will be the reality in your life,” he said, “Prepare your mind and body.  The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches the space and universe are Allah’s womb.  Guard your womb and spirit.” 

She continued the quote, stating, “You’re writing on a blank slate.  Every thought is chemistry and travels to the brain of the child.  The woman can impress on the child’s brain as it is developing.”