A Doula's Thoughts on "This is Birth"


This week Lisa Ling and CNN released this piece on birth in the United States- have you seen it yet? If not, schedule some time to watch- it’s worth it and everyone in our country should see this piece.

Ling covers pressing issues such as the rise of cesarean sections. Severe systemic problems in our nations healthcare system including, the intersectionality of race/class/gender in maternal health care and the statistical evidence that non-Hispanic black women are at a greater risk of infant mortality, preterm birth, and maternal mortality. We must do better for mothers!!

Homebirth is covered- in a positive light for once! I appreciate the emphasis on the precautions midwives take in their practice, and the safety measures that are in place. And the exceptional care midwives provide their mothers and families.

Additionally, Ling addresses the role of women in the workplace- the impact of careers on fertility, and advancements in fertility treatments. She also covers surrogacy, which is an emerging practice. Last, but of not least importance, Ling addresses discrimination of pregnant women in the workplace. 

Although not complete, I very much enjoyed watching this piece of journalism. I’m so appreciative of the vast topics that are often segmented and not addresses together, all laid out in this piece. It’s all connected- birth outcomes, race, class, workplace demands, workplace ambitions, gender, resources, fertility, alternative ways to create a family such as egg donors and surrogacy. We are living in an exciting time for women and reproduction- I look forward to seeing where we go next, and helping in any way I can to improve maternal health outcomes and create more gender equality, for a processes that is biologically female.

Jen Mayer