Decolonizing to Empower Birth

Midwives, Doulas, & Reproductive Justice Activists are called to Decolonize Birth. Together, we will interrogate the colonial and imperial history that informs the Western Medical Industrial Complex and the field of Obstetrics & Gynecology. We will reflect on the ways institutional violence informs our personal identities and communities by creating a system of supremacy and oppression which divide us from each other. We will work together to be open and increase our self-awareness and disrupt privilege so that we can cultivate empowerment and healing at the site of birth. This workshop will shift the paradigm of birth and honor the midwifery and healing traditions of communities of color as an alternative framework in which childbirth connects us with our higher spiritual purpose and potential for humanity. Finally, Birth Professionals will identify opportunities to work as allies and advocates in the project to decolonize birth.

Sarah Husain, MA, CPM, CD is a Mother, Birth-Worker, Advocate, & Educator. Sarah graduated with a BA in Women & Gender Studies, and a MA in Ethnic Studies; where she focused her research on Reproductive Justice for Women of Color in the United States and Developing Nations. Sarah is trained as a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT), ICTC Full-Circle Doula (CD), and Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). In her practice, Sarah is committed to serving diverse families and empowering their connection to traditional wisdom in healing and midwifery. Sarah has supported mothers birthing at home, birth centers, and hospitals in the United States, India, and Indonesia.

Learning Objectives

1) In this workshop participants will be able to analyze the relationship between colonialism/imperialism and violence at the site of birth.

2) Participants will recognize cultural behaviors tied to internalized supremacy and oppression, such as entitlement, privilege, racism/prejudice.

3) Participants will implement tools of decolonization into their professional practice.

4) Participants will define “intersectionality”.

5) Participants will recognize opportunities to work conscientiously as allies and advocates