Birthright, a podcast about joy and healing in Black birth, is preparing to host its first “Restoration” episode—where Black birthing people who have experienced trauma in their birth times are paired with a perinatal mental health therapist for a healing journey. The special episode will be a hybrid event, where host, Black maternal health tech founder, award-winning journalist, and author Kimberly Seals Allers and a therapist gather in-person, while two birthing people are streamed virtually. The session will be livestreamed on the Birthright Podcast YouTube page, where viewers can witness the possibilities for perinatal healing in Black birth.
Seals Allers leads The Fund to Heal Black Birth, a national fundraising campaign to raise $50,000 to offer therapy by trained perinatal mental health professionals of color to hundreds of Black birthing people. “We may not be able to prevent all of the harm to Black birthing people in the medical industrial complex, but we can support their healing. They are owed that much. That is their birthright,” Seals Allers says.
In honor of Black Maternal Health Week 2022, Seals Allers hosted a special Twitter Spaces audio event, “Black Birthing Joy as Liberation,” on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. ET. The event explored the birthright of Black birthing people and how to move from surviving childbirth to thriving in childbirth. She was joined by guests from season one of Birthright, Whitney Robinson, who still found joy after her home birth turned into a hospital transfer, and Morine Cerbert Gators, a mother whose photo of her all-Black birth team went viral. Laurie Zephyrin, vice president for Advancing Health Equity at the Commonwealth Fund, and Rachel Nicks, founder of Birth Queen, were also a part of the conversation.
Season two of Birthright launched last month with an exploration of trans birth in the U.S with Kayden X Coleman, a trans dad of two; followed by new details from actor Christina Elmore’s birth as she managed postpartum while playing Condola on Insecure; a birth experience in rural Georgia; and a look into the journey of donor insemination with more compelling stories on the way.
“We must never forget our joy. Finding moments of joy is how our ancestors survived and it is our birthright. Nor can we allow the only narrative in Black maternal health to be full of woes. We are aware, but not woeful,” says Seals Allers, a former senior editor at Essence and founder of the Irth app for birthing without bias, who brings historical context and other expert voices to each birthing story. “Birthright reminds us that there are positive and joyful experiences out there and we must learn from those too.” New episodes are released weekly on Wednesdays.
Coleman and four other Birthright guests from season one were featured in a photo essay by Well+Good, “Joy Is A Metric,” where the Black parents reflected on how they found joy in birth and beyond.
Produced by Motor City Woman studios, a Black woman-owned audio production studio based in Detroit, Birthright is funded by the California Health Care Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund and is a project of Narrative Nation Inc. a Black-women owned, media and technology non-profit, based in New York City. Narrative Nation also created Irth, as in birth but without the B for bias, the first-of-its-kind review and rating app for Black and brown parents to find and leave reviews of maternity doctors and birthing hospitals. Learn more at www.BirthrightPodcast.com
Learn about Irth at www.IrthApp.com. Follow @iamKSealsAllers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and @TheIrthApp on Facebook and Instagram.