Your TIME is valuable, and your LIFE depends on it!

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A clock without the first and second hands

The average amount of time a doctor spends with a patient in any setting, is between 13 to 28 minutes. And that even though doctors understand that the patient interview and time spent with their patient is valuable, most doctors stop listening to clients after just 11 seconds!

“60% of mothers said they didn’t feel able to discuss emotional problems at their 6 week check, due to feeling embarrassed, ashamed, or worried that the health professional would think they were not capable of looking after their baby”- @afterthird @pachamama.london

How much do you think you could share with and convey to your provider about all you are feeling in 13–28 minutes? How helpful would they be if they stopped listening after 11 seconds? …


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4-leaf clover — represents good luck in Irish Culture

It’s happening AGAIN, my feed on all of my social media is being flooded by MORE deaths of birthing people/women (mainly Black women) who have died during childbirth. In the weeks leading up to this “pandemic”, things had seemed to go back to normal, no deaths, no sadness, no grief, just the birth world mobilizing to offer support to an already stressed and stretched system of people in need. …


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I was NOT expecting this, we were not expecting this! I know so many people who laughed at the idea of virtual support, and while I do believe much of what birth work and what Doula work specifically is about, is physical support, there is a huge population of people that we are excluding, we are limiting our support options. That can’t be true access/support for all, right?

You see, I have a love/hate relationship with my profession. There is so much good happening, and yet, people can be so self serving and focused on how to capitalize, instead of doing the work. I know when I say those words, some people may roll their eyes, or frown, and I am not saying that you should not get paid for the work you do, but, I am saying that that should not be your main focus or only goal. Quincy Jones said in an interview, that “God walks out of the room when you’re thinking about money.” …


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Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Aunt, Facilitator, Entrepreneur, Doula….I could go on!

I know that these “hats” or titles don’t solely apply to me, but so many other Mothers, parents and people in this world. The term “hat” to refer to the many titles, jobs, roles and names that we take on was first introduced to me in 6th grade. During this time in my life, I had just moved from Queens where I was born and raised until the 2nd grade, and then moved to an area of Long Island, bordering Queens (you could walk a few blocks in be in Long Island in a matter of minutes), but this move to this new school was a culture shock for me. You see, I’d grown up in a middle class neighborhood in Queens, NY, in a predominantly African American neighborhood. The ratio of people of color to white people was 98% to 2% (my guesstimate) in my neighborhood and in school and every where I existed. …


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The hours just after dinner, right before the kids go to bed, leading to the “wind down” or as some people say, the “wine down (take a few sips for me, lol), are the greatest, most exhausting, wonderful, exciting and most daunting minutes and hours of life! So much to be done, so many items to check off of my to-do list, yet, I can’t decide on which thing to tackle first.

Most days, my day looks like this: I wake up about 6:00a (boys are usually up 15 minutes after or before me), cook breakfast, feed the kids breakfast, prepare for homeschool classwork for the day (printing and deciding on specific worksheets), do homeschool for 3–4 hours, trying to do work for my businesses during downtown (snack break, recess, etc), prepare homework or work to do after school, cleaning up after the kids for the 20th time, lots of yelling (not because the boys are in trouble), answering questions, thinking of ideas for dinner, straightening up before my husband comes home, dishes, cooking dinner, cleaning up after dinner, making sure the house is tidy before bed, and finally, around 7 pm, things start to slow down and I am waiting for that light at the end of the tunnel, the wind down. …


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I don’t love the idea that Doulas and other birth professionals have become “saviors” for a crisis that wasn’t created by us. Don’t get me wrong, the statistics are real, Doulas can and DO have an impact on birthing outcomes in this country, but I know for me, and many others, I didn’t sign up to save anyone!

Social media, the great connector (a little too much constant connection, if you ask me), has become more and more overwhelming in the last year. With the W.H.O. (World Health Organization) recently updating the Maternal Mortality for Black Women, from 3–4x more likely to die during childbirth to 4–5x more likely, it seemed to me that Doulas and other professionals really began to step it up with posting and sharing this news. I don’t think that many people realize how seeing these statistics and images can have negative affects on a pregnant person, specifically people of color. …


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Authenticity is the number one thing I look for when I patronize a business, over the idea that the item is pretty or even its price (aside from clothing or shoes, although a few well known brands have made fools of themselves in the last year and made me more aware of where I would and would not spend my dollars, lol). …


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My journey toward becoming a birth worker has been one of self discovery and realization that I not only exist in this body the way in which I see myself, but the way others see me, as well as how I use this body to represent, include and protect others too.

I know, I know, that’s a lot to carry, but I believe this type of “weight” I carry, has been more evident the deeper I get into the birth space. You see, in my mind, I existed at a Black, educated woman, who has manners, is a nice person, respectful, lives my life simply by knowing right from wrong and treating others kindly. …


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sup.port — to bear all or part of the weight of; hold up

As a birth professional, our job is to provide unbiased, non-medical, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual support. It is our duty and responsibility to Educate/Empower, Support, Serve, Advocate and protect your Autonomy (rights over your body).

Sometimes that support looks like holding space (witnessing and validating your emotional state), other times, gentle massage, encouraging words, other times, as the definition states, it means we are bearing the weight of your birth or partum experience, physically (holding you and/or your partner up) and the often unseen, bearing the emotional weight of your birth/post partum. …


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Today (in 2019), you are 50% more likely to die during childbirth and immediately postpartum, than your mothers were (say 30 or 40 years ago), and for women of color, the number is significantly higher.

Did you know that Black Women are 234% more likely to die during/after childbirth than their counterparts?

Some statistics in the U.S. around Maternal Health:

-12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in the US

-3x as high as the gov’ts target

-32.9% average c-section rate in the U.S. (2009)

-34,000, the # of birthing people (women) who nearly die from pregnancy-related complications (one every 15-min)

-5x the risk of maternal death in high…

About

Te-Ana Souffrant

CEO of a web based app that connects users to support (ie. doulas, other birth professionals) for pregnancy, birth, post partum, loss, infertility and MORE!

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