Miles and Milan is proud to support and amplify Black Maternal Health Week
Rachel Nicks, mama and founder of
Birth Queen tells us about her experience as a Black mom and what led her to create her non-profit that supports other Black women in pregnancy, birthing and beyond.
Here is her story:
For as long as I can remember I dreamt of becoming a mother. Today, all of my Black friends from their 20’s to 40’s are questioning motherhood because they are afraid they will die. As you may know, there is a Black maternal health crisis in this country. Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die in childbirth, 12 times more likely to die in New York City, and Black babies are twice as likely to not make it to their first birthday. Our sisters are not broken, the system is broken.
Growing up in Oakland, CA I was surrounded by strong mothers who birthed beautiful, intelligent, healthy babies and it was my belief I would do the same. Fast forward to 2021 and I am thrilled to share that I am a mother to two healthy sons. I chose to birth in a hospital setting with the support of a midwife, doula, and my loving husband. I was educated, supported and empowered. I have had two beautiful breastfeeding journeys. I breastfed my first son for 19 months and am currently breastfeeding my 6 month old son.
2020 was a LOT for all of us. Nothing about it was simple and for most of us there were little to nothing sweet about it . Last summer, every evening as I felt the sun starting to set I started to feel a wave of anxiety envelop my body. That anxiety beget more anxiety because I knew it would be yet another sleepless night. I desperately needed rest, I was pregnant, mom to a 2 year old, still working and keeping our household afloat in the midst of a pandemic. I remember myself and others blaming my sleepless nights on my unborn child. One afternoon it hit me that it was not my unborn son that was keeping me awake at night. It was my paralyzing fear of bringing another beautiful black son into this racist world knowing that everyone in this country would not value his humanity and I may lose him. I was blessed not only to survive my births, but thrive, yet every day for the rest of my life I will worry if my father, brother, and sons will make it home alive.
Please do not stop reading. This is hard to read. This is uncomfortable. This is scary. This is every Black person's daily reality.
I have a solution!
I choose joy and I want you to choose joy with me and be the solution.
After having Baldwin 6 months ago I was contemplating having a third baby, so I birthed my baby girl and her name is Birth Queen. I founded a nonprofit organization to combat the Black maternal health crisis. Birth Queen educates, supports and empowers Black women, parents and birthing people, enriching the Black birth experience and saving lives! Our inclusive, Black-owned and operated organization funds trainings for doulas, midwives, and lactation consultants.
- Rachel Nicks, Founder, Birth Queen