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Why the Birthing Project is Needed

The Birthing Project is an organization which supports women and their children throughout pregnancy and post-partum. The goal is to serve as a support system that women can depend on to ensure they have better outcomes. In our society, black women’s’ needs, and concerns have been neglected and overlooked. In my 19 years of life, I have heard numerous stories about black pregnant women dying or losing their baby and the fact of the matter is, some of it could’ve been avoided if black pregnant women were treated as equally as a white pregnant woman. The Birthing Project is a huge step in making an effective change in the outcomes of these tragedies amongst black pregnant women. The Birthing Project’s aim is to not only support physical well-being but also your emotional well-being. The sisters-friend mentors offered through the Birthing Project are women who you can confide in. You can share not only your concerns about pregnancy but also about other personal concerns. The Birthing Project provides that safe place where you are supported, heard, and loved.

My mother was in the one of the first groups (Bunches) of the Arkansas Birthing Project in 1999. She met Dr. Zenobia Harris, her sister-friend there. My mom developed a safe and comfortable relationship with Zenobia which I believed built my mother’s confidence in herself- as a person and as a mother by just having someone to listen to her and encourage her. My mother told me that certain things- like going to college - she probably wouldn’t have done, but Zenobia held her up to that expectation and so, she did. I’ve grown up knowing Zenobia as my God mother and I know if I call on her, she will help me anyway she can. I’ve had the honor of being an intern here at the Arkansas Birthing Project during the summer of 2019 and this program and group amazes me.

From my own observation, these women really care and respect one another while being very transparent. The atmosphere emphasizes what support really is - how a (black)pregnant women pregnant needs and deserves to be treated in this society. The Birthing Project environment is safe, fun, peaceful, intimate and positive energy. The program promotes and executes uplifting and supportive spaces. It is important to know that the Birthing Project is essential for pregnant women and this support should be presented all around to as many Black women as possible.

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