April 11th - 17th, 2021
This week in “Shameful and Distasteful News”, Lifetime* Movie Network released a new movie called Beware of the Midwife, about a black couple who choose to use a midwife and spoiler alert: that very midwife kidnaps their baby and they have to find the midwife and their new baby.
Both the creation and release of this movie is problematic- and at this point, we’ll just say it- we’re sick of this tired (and dangerous) trope and we demand better.
Black mothers are 3x more likely to die in childbirth. Did you read that through? 3x more likely than their white counterparts to not survive childbirth. We think it warrants spelling it out twice... Black mothers are also 50% more likely to suffer complications throughout Pregnancy. Black infants are twice as likely to die in Childbirth. These are not just statistics - these are human beings. It’s not a “women’s problem” or a “parenting issue” it’s a human rights violation and a crisis.
We understand that the solution to this crisis lies in systemic change. A complete overhaul of government, education, health care, housing, HUMANITY- however we also understand that if everyone takes responsibility for the way they live and do business, we can make big change on the ground. One thing we can do to radically support Black Maternal Health is to support and uplift Black Birthworkers. This can look like donating to aspiring midwives & doulas and referring clients and community members to Black Birthworkers. What this doesn’t look like is creating propaganda to instill baseless fear in Black Birthworkers, further perpetuating the cycle of sub-par healthcare and options for Black mothers. For Lifetime to create a movie about a Black couple ultimately fearing their health care provider- after choosing that midwife out of concern for their potential negative hospital experience- is unnecessary and frankly a step backwards. Furthermore, why release this movie at the start of Black Maternal Health Week? A week dedicated to calling attention to the horrifying disparities in Maternal Healthcare and creating awareness and SOLUTIONS. Lifetime’s decision is aggressive and unwelcome.
Excuse us while we spend the next few days writing scathing letters to Lifetime, donating to the National Black Midwives Alliance, donating to Haven Midwifery Birthing Center, donating to Black Mamas Matter Alliance and donating to Daunte Wright’s family. If you’re looking for a fantastic local place to donate, consider Blackswell Birth Foundation, raising money to subsidize Doula Support for Black Mothers.
This week, and every. single. week. we acknowledge and support our BlPOC community in the fight for equality, safety, and true freedom. Freedom to walk down the street, sleep in their bed, and receive quality healthcare.
*(As much as we enjoy a good holiday movie, we have a whole slew of issues with Lifetime’s lack of Representation, LGBTQ+ Support, and Inclusivity, to say the least... this is yet another strike against the machine)
Please feel free to send your own thoughts directly to A&E, the owner of Lifetime Movie network.
If you’re looking for a BIPOC Doula, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org