Ancient Song Doula Services focuses on birth, reproductive justice during Black Maternal Health Week
This week marks Black Maternal Health Week. There has been a lot of focus on ending the untimely deaths of Black and brown women during childbirth. It happens at a disproportionate rate in New York City.
Caring for the community is a responsibility Doula Chanel Porchia-Albert says she takes seriously.
"At the end of the day, what we are trying to do is we are trying to change the narrative. I think a lot of the conversation is around Black death and Black women dying in childbirth and we want the conversation switched to there are a lot of community organizations who are trying to change that,” said Porchia-Albert.
Porchia-Albert is the founder of Ancient Song Doula Services in Brooklyn. It has been a part of the change for 20 years–providing emotional and physical support to moms-to-be, focusing on birth and reproductive justice, and training Doulas with this framework.
"One is getting them to center themselves and what does that mean to center themselves before they go out in the community - and the fundamentals of what does it mean to have someone advocate for themselves or what does it mean for you as the doula to have to be the advocate,” said Porchia-Albert.
Porchia-Albert wants to advocate for Black and brown women who may not feel safe and protected in medical spaces during pregnancy, which is why Ancient Song is part of the mayor’s newest initiative to reduce maternal and infant deaths–expanding access to Doula and midwifery services.
Porchia-Albert says she is hopeful for the program’s success.
"I think anything that allows access to doula services is great. As long as it is done from an approach that really looks at implementation and accountability,” said Porchia-Albert.