Love and Labor: The History of African American Birth Care Providers

A Black and white image of a Black woman who is pregnant looking at a crib with a midwife. A small child is standing next to the midwife. Library of Congress

This podcast episode from Sexing History explores the history of advocacy of Black doulas, midwives, and other birth attendants for the safety and dignity of Black pregnant women and their children.

“The story of African American midwifery is part of a larger history of Black women’s struggles to protect their own lives, as well as the lives of other Black women and their children. This episode explores the long history of African American midwives, doulas, and birth attendants who have labored to ensure the safety and dignity of Black mothers and their children in and beyond the maternity ward. These Black women have worked to provide emotional support and medical advocacy for other pregnant and laboring women. Their reproductive advocacy makes clear that the delivery room has become an important site to ensure that Black Lives Matter.”