With the United States having the most expensive maternity care costs among industrialized nations (while our rates of maternal and fetal deaths continue to increase), it’s no wonder there are much needed organizations and individuals working hard as pregnancy and birth advocates. They work hard speaking out against birth injustice and broken systems and are working hard to fix things on both micro and macro levels.
These are some of the most inspiring and interesting birth advocates you should be following in 2016:
Birthing Project USA. This organization is one of the few birth-related ones to focus specifically on African-American maternal and child health organization in the U.S. For information on birth equity and how women of color are affected by maternal health challenges at higher rates, follow Birthing Project USA on Twitter.
Black Women Birthing Justice. This birthing collective focuses on the experiences and challenges that impact black women. Like many on this list, it is committed to educating and informing women so they can have agency within their own births. Follow the collective on Twitter to read more about its birth advocacy.
Chanel Portia-Albert and Ancient Song Doula Services. Founded by Chanel Portia-Albert in 2008, this NYC doula collective offers its services to women of color and low-income women who might not otherwise have the opportunity to afford one. The collective is committed to lowering maternal and infant mortality rates through doula work, education, advocacy, training and workshops. Follow Ancient Song Doula Services on Twitter to see what it’s up to.
Charlene Collier, M.D. Working to improve birth outcomes in her state, Charlene Collier is the director of the Mississippi Perinatal Quality Collaborative and a perinatal health adviser for the Mississippi State Department of Health. Follow Collier on Twitter to get a better understanding of the challenges facing maternal health.
Choices in Childbirth. This NYC-based organization believes in offering information and education to help women make the best choices in childbirth. From workshops to advocacy work, Choices in Childbirth is doing what it can to provide agency for those who are pregnant. Follow it on Twitter for more information and to see when it’s offering workshops.
Christy Turlington Burns and Every Mother Counts. One of the top supermodels in the world has added global birth advocate to her résumé. Christy Turlington Burns founded Every Mother Counts after experiencing the challenging birth of her daughter. She now speaks out about growing maternal mortality and the need to help mothers in the U.S. and beyond have access to safe births. Christy’s organization is dedicated to making birth safe for women and babies around the world. Follow Christy and Every Mother Counts on Twitter to learn more about the important work they do.
Improving Birth. Want to follow a social media account that focuses on evidence-based information regarding pregnancy and birth? Improving Birth is it. This organization’s goal is as simple as its name. It truly wants to improve birth and all aspects of it. Follow it on Twitter to see what it’s up to and how you can help.
Jennie Joseph. Florida midwife and author Jennie Joseph is helping to bring the midwifery model of care to northern Florida. She is executive director of Commonsense Childbirth, one of the premier freestanding childbirth centers in the area. The center offers bilingual care and will not refuse care because of ability to pay, citizenship or insurance status. Follow Joseph on Twitter to gain access to her insight and advocacy.
Miriam Zoila Pérez. Miriam Pérez, aka the Radical Doula, has been a doula since 2004 and has been writing about birth for the last eight years and counting. Her work places birth advocacy and activism in an intersectional framework, weaving together reproductive rights, doula work, LGBT issues, immigrant rights and racial justice. Follow Pérez and her Radical Doula account on Twitter to see true intersectional feminism at work within birth advocacy.
Prison Birth Project. The Prison Birth Project advocates for incarcerated women who are pregnant and/or mothering. It has worked tirelessly to fix horrific policy that impacts the health and safety of pregnant and birthing women in jail. Follow it on Twitter to learn how you can help support incarcerated mothers.