15: Empowering Black Mamas to Birth with a Voice
Co-Founder of the Black Doula Project Erryn Tanner Tells How Her Birth Story Became Her Passion and a Mission for Change.
If it shocks you to hear that black women in the US are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, hold onto your chair. In this Express Yourself Podcast Interview, BeauGen sits down with Erryn Tanner. After the birth of her children, Erryn became a postpartum doula. Working with other black women in her community, hearing and seeing their birth experiences shed light on a big problem.
Black maternal health matters, but why are we still hearing stories of inequality, in the way women are spoken to, treated, and judged. Erryn shares personal stories that might shock people outside of the black community. She’s on a mission to change this, to empower black women by helping to cover the cost of a doula so that black mothers can birth with a voice.
What we covered:
- Erryn’s Birth Stories.
- Erryn’s journey to become a postpartum doula.
- The personal experiences of friends and clients.
- The mission of the Black Doula Project.
- What it means to birth with a voice and you can make an impact.
Erryn Tanner's Bio:
After experiencing racial bias within her own maternal health care and hearing the stories of other black women who had instances of racial inequality during their pregnancies, Erryn Tanner decided to become a postpartum doula. This passion project helps black families settle into life with a newborn and help families adjust to their new normal. After trying to balance being a wife, a mother to two children and having a full time career, it became apparent that she couldn't do it all. Erryn and her co-founder Stephanie Kimou-Hardy refocused their efforts to provide a way to fill the need of providing doula support to black families so black women could birth better and safer. With this vision in mind, the Black Doula Project went from providing doula services to operating as a grant fund dedicated to partnering black expectant families with doulas to help reduce maternal health risk, provide support and empower black families to be advocates for their self-care during their maternity journey. The work of the Black Doula project is focused in Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Maryland.