The Full Story
Inequity in reproductive healthcare is a complex issue that needs to be confronted from many angles. The Educated Birth does so by creating inclusive visuals that recognize and celebrate the many identities and presentations of people in our communities (before, during, after, and excluding pregnancy*), by crafting quality educational content with inclusive language that's easy to read and to teach with, and by inviting people (many who've often been left out of the "mainstream") — parents and reproductive health workers — to share their knowledge and stories with us.
When founder Cheyenne Varner became a birth worker in 2016, she couldn't find imagery of Black pregnant women online. When she googled combinations of "Black," "woman," and "pregnant" much of what she found felt insulting — more images of upset Black women looking at pregnancy tests, and pregnant white women wearing black than of healthy, happy, Black pregnant women. This began an awakening — she'd stumbled into a deep, vast, wide gap — an incredible number of people across a spectrum of identities and experiences have not been able to see themselves when learning about their bodies and navigating some of our most intimate experiences and decisions.
As of January 2021, The Educated Birth has created hundreds of illustrations and infographics featuring pregnant people, parents, and support people of different races, sexual orientations, body shapes and sizes, hair textures and styles, disabilities, and more. We've created six issues of Everyday Birth Magazine
, a biannual print and digital magazine focusing on photography, home, hospital, and birth center birth stories, and educational articles. We've created an interactive online photo-audio-documentary called Life's Work
, featuring Roots Community Birth Center, a Black woman-owned birth center in Minnesota. In early 2020, we kicked off a fundraiser with the National Black Midwives Alliance to make 100 PPE kits available to black midwives across the US — and surpassed our goal together!
Our ambition and conviction to provide more intersectional reproductive health education grows and grows! And we’re growing too! If you believe in what we’re doing, consider becoming a patron
.*Why include “excluding pregnancy?” Because not everyone who can become pregnant desires to become pregnant— and not everyone can become pregnant either. This is another group of people who often become stigmatized and/or left out in reproductive health discourse.