Village Gift Recipient:
Efe Osaren, future midwife
El Paso, Texas
If it takes a village to raise one child, it's going to take many villages to support work that challenges and counteracts injustice in pregnancy, birth and postpartum today. The Educated Birth is committed to being a part of that.
We do this in three ways: (1) gifting our own resources to qualifying individuals, (2) spreading awareness of these folks via our blog and social media, and (3) inviting others in the village to share and donate to these folks, too.
Describe yourself. What are the most readily identified aspects of your personality, and what truths about yourself may surprise someone?
I like to describe myself as typical but not so typical ambitious first generation Nigerian-American woman. I say not so typical because I am not exactly the stereotypical studious Nigerian who is determined to be wealthy with a high salary career. But typical because of my ambition and drive to reach what success looks like for me. I can be very stubborn and unmoving at times but always within the context of my best interests. I think it might surprise people that I enjoy being a loner because I have amazing friends and I am often in the community. It's opposite of what people expect from me but I feel that it keeps me grounded in this chaotic world and allows me to extend myself more in this work because of these boundaries.
How do you pursue reproductive justice in your life and your work?
I pursue reproductive justice as my life work by being a frontier of birth work. As a Doula I provided free to low cost birth, postpartum, abortion support, Child Birth Education and Lactation support to marginalized communities. I worked as Managing Director/Assistant for Black women led organization where I organized a Decolonized Birth Conference, several free community events like Black Breastfeeding week block party, clothing/diaper drives and prenatal yoga. I was a member and employee of NYC Department of Health Sexual and Reproductive Justice community engagement group. And now I am advancing my birth worker career to becoming a Certified Professional Midwife to help address the lack of access to Black Midwives.
Who has shaped you and/or what drives you to do the work you do?
The black women in my life have shaped me and they also driven me to do this work. From my grandmother who was a Midwife in her village in Edo state in Nigeria, to my younger sister whose births inspired me, to mother and older sister who raised me, to my Nigerian aunties who always makes sure I am well, to the black women who trained me to be a birth worker, to my friends/kindred sisters who walk this walk with me and to the black women who were here before me who led the path for me to be here now.
What are some things you do to take care of yourself as you pursue the work you do?
Breathe. I can name dozens of self care techniques from face mask to aromatherapy but what works the most for me is breathing. In my yoga teacher training one of the required readings was The science of Breath and I learned about the importance of the breath on our physical and psychological health.
What does a day in your life look like?
Well right now I am currently in Midwifery school. I'm enrolled in an immersive one year program where I work in a Birth center for 500 hours per quarter (total of 4). That's not including being on call for clients that I provide full continuity of care for and academics class twice a week. A day in the clinic looks like a mix of several prenatal and postpartum exams, labor sits and assisting Midwives in a birth or me as a the primary midwife. If there is no birth and its a day of the week where I am in class I'll step out of the birth center and walk over to the school where academics is 3-4 hours and afterwards I'll return to the birth center. On a off day and I'm not on call im grocery shopping, doing laundry, running errands, doing homework and maybe sleeping lol.
What areas of expertise do you have that folks should know about?
Certified full spectrum Doula
Certified Lactation Counselor
BS in Psychology
Community Organizer and Workshop Facilitator
Where do you see yourself and your work in a year, 5 years, 10 years?
In the next five to ten years I see myself practicing midwifery in the states, Caribbeans and Africa. I want be a nomadic global midwife. I eventually want to open a birth center/ midwifery school in Nigeria.
Do you have a donation page we can link to?