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Reproductive InjusticeRacism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth$
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Dana-Ain Davis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479812271

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479812271.001.0001

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Radical Black Birth Workers

Radical Black Birth Workers

(p.169) 6 Radical Black Birth Workers
Reproductive Injustice

Dána-Ain Davis

NYU Press

The interventions used to address premature birth do not address the issue of medical racism. Moreover, interventions are not preventive. This chapter focuses on the role that radical Black birth workers, including doulas, midwives, and reproductive justice advocates, play in addressing Black women’s adverse birth outcomes. Radical birth workers attempt to prevent adverse birth outcomes by delivering comprehensive care throughout pregnancy, labor, birth, and postbirth. Often, at the same time, they also view themselves as mediators between women and the obstetric medical system founded on the exploitation of Black women’s reproduction. Birth workers have their roots in early midwifery practices, and many seek to reclaim pregnancy and birthing from the power of the medical-industrial complex. The preventive approach as an alternative to medical births and the provision of care based on compassion have been shown to produce very good outcomes for many women.

Keywords:   birth workers, midwives, doulas, comprehensive care

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