Sometimes simply knowing your options is what makes all the difference. Education is key for pregnant mothers as they prepare for their birth and early motherhood.
Birth Education is important for women because the “childbearing year” of pregnancy, labor, birth and the fourth trimester, is the moment where fundamental respect, care and nurturing can be experienced and where culture-change can begin in each life with the benefits paying forward to individuals and society.
In this episode we have the honor and delight of speaking with a mother-daughter duo whose work together spans this cultural intervention of doula work in the context of social justice. We weave together these elements along with the practical benefits of doula care. We explore the generational and traditional threads of women caring for families.
In Deundra’s words:
Serving a new mama and family during postpartum is as deep in my culture and family as life itself. Both of my paternal grand-parents where from the great state of Texas. Specifically my dad was born in raised in Nacogdoches, TX with a population of just over 32,000. For many, many years my great aunt was the midwife of the town responsible for the birth of babies from families on both sides of town. As a result local community members and my family provided postpartum care throughout the entire town, back then it was expected and simply what you did for your neighbor.
As a result, it’s in my DNA to provide postpartum supportive care and my reasons are simple:
- Every new parent(s) need postpartum care (fresh water, healthy food, clean living area, lively conversation and sleep) new parent(s) should never feel alone or unsure about the care of their new baby their only focus should be on the birthing person to heal and the new parent(s) to bond with their baby
- Mine (as well as my daughter) roles are to honor a families afterbirth traditions by taking time to learn what they are and to follow those postpartum care traditions as well as the tried and true support that us postpartum doulas know so well
- To help provide a loving and nurturing experience just after birth which is very important for mama, papa, partner and baby to promote a quick physical recovery and healthy emotional presence
Deundra Hundon and Stephanie Dixon are the founders of Bare With Me: A Mother-Daughter Doula Duo. Both San Francisco natives, and Bayview Hunter’s Point residents, this duo strives to reclaim the role of black birth workers in America while advocating for maternal equality for all. Deundra and Stephanie are trained through Cornerstone Doula Trainings in Labor and Birth, Postpartum, and Childbirth Education. One of Stephanie and Deundra’s current philanthropic commitments include being recruited to sit on the board of Friends of San Francisco Birth Center. Some of their responsibilities include working with midwives, doulas, and other board members to foster communication between low-income women and women of color with Midwives of the San Francisco Birth Center. Their business is based in San Francisco and serves a wide range of clients across the Bay Area. Bare With Me: A Mother-Daughter Doula Duo uses mature and modern techniques as a means to accomplish their mission of improving the overall experience for the birthing person (or birthing mom) regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status, prior knowledge of birthing options or prior birthing experience.
About Deundra Hundon:
I’m currently supporting mamas and papas as a birth doula and completed my training with Cornerstone Doula Training. In addition to my training, I’m a mother and grandmother; two experiences that have provided me with personal experience with childbirth and infant and toddler care. My passion and interest for doing birth work and becoming a doula began when I was just a student in high school preparing for college. Since then, I’ve worked in childcare and education as a teacher, program director, family support coordinator and college advisor. My experience working with children and their families for over 25 years has prepared me for understanding families’ special needs and bringing calm and focus to the entire family in some of the most challenging times.
My approach to all people is to provide love, compassion and support. There isn’t a class that we have in our school system that teaches us how to have a wonderful and supportive birth and bring into the world wonderful, beautiful healthy babies. I believe that my role is to be that teacher and provide the course of learning and be present for the birth.
The births of my two children (although they are wonderful children) were anything but wonderful. I felt scared, unsure, unclear about the vocabulary being used to describe my labor and delivery. I’m committed to making sure that every mama and papa that I work with as a doula feels safe, and that mama feels confident about the strength of her body and becomes an expert on her labor and birth options.
I promise that I will:
- Stay with you throughout your emotional journey throughout your labor
- Stay connected with you and your partner to create and maintain a safe, private and calm inner and outer environment
- Stay committed to you informing and empowering you to make choices that feel right for you, your baby and partner
About Stephanie Dixon:
As a San Francisco State Alumnae and a Communication Studies major, I studied courses in health communication, public speaking, journalism, and broadcasting in an effort to one day be able to advocate for the needs of others. Some of my current philanthropic commitments include being recruited to sit on the board of Friends of San Francisco Birth Center.
Some of my responsibilities include working with midwives, doulas and other board members to create a social media platform to foster communication between expectant moms and their partners with the San Francisco Birth Center and Friends of San Francisco Birth Center board. As a board member it is also my responsibility to work with the members to obtain grant recipients, attend fundraisers, and assist with fundraising.
Being a Doula and Childbirth Educator is more than providing professional expertise related to maternity. It is about providing expectant parents, their partners and family with a roadmap on how to lead a healthy and productive lifestyle throughout their pregnancy and postpartum experience.
I am a Doula, Childbirth Educator, Philanthropist, Motivational/Public Speaker and Social Media Influencer.