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This Podcast Addresses the Myth that Black Families Don't Birth at Home

Birth workers Chae + Isis share how this podcast started, words of wisdom, their favorite episodes, and more.
by 
Chae Pounds + Isis Rose
photo credit:  

What inspired you to start a podcast that addresses the myths that “hospitals are the safest place to give birth” and “Black families don’t birth at home”?

Isis originally brought the idea to me and I absolutely loved it! As someone who had planned a home birth and had to transfer care, this was my lived experience. I thought this would be a very palatable way to shake up these very myths because we are the stories that we share. - Chae

When I was pregnant, I listened to a lot of podcasts because I didn’t know very many people who had actually had a home birth. I didn’t really understand the preparation process, birth kits, postpartum healing at home, etc. As I listened, I realized that it would be powerful to have a show that specifically discussed the experiences of Black families who birthed at home. That is because I sensed there was something missing from how our stories were being told on other podcasts. That is the story of racism and discrimination in medical settings. When we hear about the maternal and infant death rates disproportionately affecting Black people, we are hearing hospital-based statistics! - Isis

What are some of the things that you have learned from your interviewees while hosting this podcast?

WOW! This list is endless! I think the one thing I've learned/reaffirmed more than anything is that black women are absolutely phenomenal and I would not want to be in any other group. We are determined people! - Chae

I’ve learned that it is so important to listen to your body, your baby, and your intuition. There are still negative stigmas associated with homebirthers but nobody is putting themselves or their babies in harm’s way. When a problem arises, we are quick to pivot and change the plan! We possess infinite wisdom and know our bodies (and our histories) better than anyone else and that is proven time and again during our interviews. - Isis

What words of wisdom and resources would you recommend for families that are interested in the idea of home birth but still nervous?

My favorite thing to tell nervous folks: more people were born at home than at any institution. We are only afraid because we don't understand, so the best thing we can do is equip ourselves with knowledge. - Chae

I always tell people to seek out and listen to beautiful birth stories of people who have done it (like on our podcast!). When people are pregnant, the tendency is to bombard them with negative anecdotes from our own traumatic births or negative pregnancy experiences. If you’re pregnant, put boundaries around your pregnancy and birth. You don’t have to entertain negative talk and you don’t have to tell everyone who asks about your birthing plan. Guard your heart, head, and birth. - Isis

What words of wisdom and resources would you recommend for families who would rather give birth at home but need to give birth in a hospital setting for medical reasons?

Research the birthing institution, the doctor, the on call doctors, the staff, the policies, the grade in the cafeteria! Know the institution inside and out! HIRE A DOULA!!!!! Do the research on physiologic birth and how you can best incorporate that practice into your birthing space. Start the process again with 2-3 more institutions so you can change care seamlessly when necessary. - Chae

No matter how or where you give birth, you have options. Hire a doula, take a childbirth education class, learn about how birth works. Learn how routine interventions and medications affect your body and your baby. If you’re having a planned cesarean section, understand your options. Does your hospital offer family-centered cesareans with a clear drape and immediate skin-to-skin? Many of us go into hospitals blind and that’s step one in giving up our rights and power. Finally, learn about postpartum. No matter what your birth looks like, once your baby is born you are postpartum. And we all could use more postpartum support. Consider having a postpartum party or hiring a postpartum doula! - Isis

We know you love ALL of your episodes, but if you had to recommend just one for folks to start with, which one would you choose and why?

Tayo. Omg! Tayo's episode is newly published, but I have anticipated it ever since we recorded. She overcame SO much. She had "normal" pregnancy things we all have, but none of that deterred her from her family birth. Her finding the plant in the backyard literally sent me right over the edge! It was the cherry on top of my Sunday! It was a Chef's kiss! It was perfection! New to home birth people could learn so much from Tayo and her family! - Chae

I definitely do love all of our episodes! Each guest gives so much and their honesty and transparency is so refreshing and powerful. I share Chae’s enthusiasm for Tayo’s birth story--it was truly amazing! I also super loved Nuola’s story (part 1 and 2!) which also touches on grief, loss, and healing through home birth. I am especially grateful to Roxanne for talking about being a fat Black woman and overcoming so many hurdles as she planned her home birth after cesarean (HBAC). I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and fully plan to have another home birth if I have another baby! Fat Black women home birth too! - Isis

Chae Pounds | she, hers, & goddess | @chaethesupreme

Chae Pounds is a wife, mom, and Student Midwife. She began her career in birthwork five years ago. Chae owns and operates Mawiyah's Village where she offers an arry of birth and post partum services. Since her start, she has completed numerous birth related trainings as well as Indie Birth Midwifery School. Chae is currently apprenticing in the greater New Orleans area to become a Certified Professional Midwife. She is a firm believer in the power of birth and community support.

Isis Rose | She/her/hers | @homecomingpodcast

Isis Rose is a wife, homebirth mama, doula and student midwife. Her entry into birthwork began as an anthropology graduate student. Her doula trainings and interactions with other womxn, researchers, and mothers championing Black maternal health, inspired her to also become birth professional. Isis now offers a variety of virtual and in-person doula services through her business Isis A. Rose, Birth and Postpartum services. Following in Chae’s footsteps, Isis applied to Indie Birth Midwifery School and will be joining the newest cohort.

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