All posts by The Professional Doula

About The Professional Doula

The is the blog for the training programs of Birth Professionals of the Bay Area!

Goodbye Mr Hefner

Good bye Mr. Hefner ,

Yesterday I read that hugh Hefner , founder of playboy magazine died at 91. Without thinking I posted the New York Times post on my Facebook wall, I added the comment rest in peace.

I did this without thinking , and I did this because this is who I wish to be ; a person who honors when life is ended , no matter whose life it is,

Yet, as the day went on I felt a growing anger. And I felt it important tomy being to say some more about this matter , this man and how he and other aspects of the so called sexual revolution caused damage to the young woman I once was.

It’s was already my sad fate to,have been raised in a household brimming with sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse. And then, I has the puzzling experince of coming to womanhood during the time where I was told that my freedom depended upon my sexual availability . Saying no was a sign of being repressed , or worse yet controlling. My value and my empowerment came from having all the sex my partner wanted , having no personal needs except to say yes to and have as much sex as possible .

Certainly wanting closeness , communication or commitment was uncool and should be avoided by the emancipated woman …

It was all rubbish certainly, and for my soul a perpetuation of the sexual abuse of my childhood.

Playboy magazine , cosmopolitan , and other publications felt it their duty to inform me that orgasims were my right and that I should demand them. No where was information on the importance of communication, empathy, true passion and trust that was required for two human beings to explore, care and value each other enough that orgasms are the natural result.

Mr Heffner , in my opinion has been the spokes man for immature broken masculinity. From the immaturity comes that false sense of privilege and anger when one doesn’t get their way. It’s one of the seeds of what we now call rape culture .

I’m speaking here about my journey . The point of any revolution is freedom . This means that everyone has the freedom and support in exploring what the words sexuality , gender, and orientation mean to us individuals , and the then the courage to reach out and communicate who we are to our peers with out judgement or injury .

The US still has much healing to do from its repressed and shaming Puritan beginnings . It is my opinion that the preaching of the Playboy man or the Cosmo girl hasn’t helped this healing . I am heart warmed as i recall the compassionate therapists, and grounded spiritual leaders and precious sexual partners , who assisted me in the development of my own sexual unfolding , and I rejoice in my absolute pleasure and acceptance of myself and my own sexual and emotional energy and power .

My wish today is that all people have the same opportunity.

Samsarah Morgan C2017

The erotic has been used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, the plas- ticized sensation. For this reason, we have often turned away from the exploration and consider- ation of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with its opposite, the pornographic. But pornography is a direct denial of the power of the erotic, for it represents the suppression of true feeling. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling.

~Audre Lorde

The Red Road – A call for submissions!

Hello dear ones , I am collecting stories for a new book.

First period , births , c sections , abortions , miscarriage , still birth , and menopause .plz submit your story to me at: oaklandbetterbirthfoundation@gmail.com

All stories submitted will be published and all authors will receive a free copy of the book once completed .
Inbox me with questions .
All genders invited to submit.
Thanks and love , Samsarah

A journey in red…

 

After you submit your story or stories – Join our Facebook Groups and lets stay in touch!

The Red Road Virtual Village on Facebook

Charlottesville Statement

The Oakland Better Birth Foundation                     August 23rd, 2017

Jessalyn Ballerano, Author

 

When various factions of armed, torch-wielding White supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, VA this month, to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, they came prepared and anticipating a violence that has long defined their role in American society. As shocked as some may be, in truth it is no surprise that their protests, in which they chanted “Blood and Soil”, screamed racial slurs at onlookers and anti-fascist demonstrators, and symbolically destroyed Jewish imagery in the name of racial purity, resulted in the death of a young woman and many more injured. The young man who drove his car into a group of counter-demonstrators, and those who support him, have openly embraced this violence and show no remorse for the deaths of people who support an inclusive, equally accessible society.

 

Because it is built on a hierarchy of separateness, White supremacy inherently invites conflict and requires consistent demonstrations of stubborn force to maintain its structure, control dissidents, and inspire fear-based loyalty in its subscribers, lest they realize the risk of becoming a target should they themselves be deemed “impure” in belief or practice. This authoritative practice spills into White supremacy’s necessary pairing with male supremacy, as “bloodline purity” (a physiological myth) requires absolute reproductive control, and therefore the subjugation and objectification of women as (otherwise useless) vessels of the continuation of the bloodline.

 

Just as White supremacy is built on the notion that Black and Brown people are less than human – and just as this hateful concept has been practiced through the multigenerational enslavement of Black and Brown bodies as tools, objects, playthings, and resources to be extracted for profit – so too is the history of obstetrics built on the abuse and calculated dehumanization of the bodies of women – particularly of Black and Brown women, and particularly of enslaved or very poor women of color. It is a well-known historical fact among birthworkers that J. Marion Sims, the “father of modern gynecology”, regularly performed experimental surgeries, unmedicated, on Black enslaved (or very poor) women. He, and many others, believed they did not feel pain. Well-documented are the instances of forced sterilization, the purposeful infection of unknowing patients and study participants with disease, and other abuses of people of color within the reproductive spectrum – including millions of rapes, murdered families, kidnappings, forced childrearing, forced breastfeeding, and other horrors of the duplication of White supremacy and anti-Black/PoC oppression over the years.

 

These painful truths are terrible to read, but they must be spoken to – we clearly cannot view the incidents in Charlottesville as an isolated case. The pride with which White supremacy rears its ugly head this month has long been fermenting and propagating, and so while this month, we see it blatantly and undeniably, its presence is purposeful, planned, and has long infected our institutions, our systems of exchange, and our day-to-day interactions. Under current government, yes, it is true that racists and fascists of all kinds feel more emboldened than ever to strike out at those of us who would sustain a truly free, humane society, but their hate and fear has defined much of the lives – and deaths – of all citizens since before this country’s founding, when the least successful, rather spiritually marginalized, most desperate sons of Europe colonized indigenous peoples with disease, weapons, economic manipulation and an entire spectrum of physical traumas.

 

Today, we must acknowledge that Charlottesville is only one of many instances in which we, as a society, have allowed our fear, ignorance, guilt, self-loathing and cowardice to overwhelm our powers of courage, insight, compassion, and loving peace. Every day, in the world of birth, we see people stripped of their agency, assigned harmful stereotypes, verbally abused, and mistreated in their bodies and spirit based on factors of race, gender and class. Every day, we see women terrified of their own bodies – fearful of their very life force – imprinted with decades, if not centuries, of the expectation and belief that they are inherently broken…less than…dysfunctional. Every day, we see medical care providers alienate, dismiss and outright insult the very process of creation. Even well-meaning practitioners wield an often careless authoritative knowledge, based in an oppressive power dynamic born of brutal inhumanity at a time when some people were not considered people, and women and their babies are dying as a result. If you are enraged at the outright assault on life that is occurring in our cities, then also be enraged at the subtler but insidious forces that aim to dehumanize and belittle birth, streamline parenting into a mechanical consumer act, traumatize and retraumatize generations of people into a numb complacency, and subvert our natural capacity for wellness so as to make our entire population dependent on the profit-based workings of the industries that benefit from our collective suffering.

 

Be enraged, and, we ask, do something. It is the mission of the Oakland Better Birth Foundation to reduce infant and maternal mortality and to protect all families’ rights to birth where, and with whom, they choose, to raise their children in safe, consensual environments, and to be supported in their own unique healing and wellness practices. Our work means being present with women and other birthing people’s growing awareness that, to achieve this, they must become empowered agents of their own bodies and choices in the face of destructive forces. It means facilitating our collective awakening to the reality that we do not need to suffer at the hands of an imagined “other”, if we unite against the power of fear, disconnection, addiction, manipulative delusion and hate. It is in protecting the process of reproduction – with love and understanding for diverse situations and identities – that we can give our children a future in which they move through the world with a confidence that they are accepted, they belong, and they are loved, with no need to harm or subjugate others. When all children are valued, and all parents respected, people across diverse cultures and communities can come together in supporting practices that benefit worldwide health, create opportunities for sustainable resource systems, and heal the wounds that, if left unaddressed, threaten to destroy the shared valuing of Life that makes us human.

 

Note:  Thanks to Jessalyn Ballerano for best being the author of this document on behalf of Oakland Better Birth Foundation . This statement speaks for me as well as the undersigned members of our advisory board .

 

Samsarah Morgan , DD ,CD (ICTC) LC, Founder and Executive Director

Tora R. Spigner, RN

Libertad Rivera, RN

Laura Cox, Lactation Educator

Heather Moore-Farley

Xandrea J. Sanford

Asatu Musunama Hall-Allah CPM

Al Jazeera report on Charlottesville

 

how many more by Mary Englebreit

Oakland Breastfeeding Festival Press Release

###

 

MEDIA RELEASE – Sunday, August 27th, 3:00pm-6:00pm

Oakland’s Breastfeeding Festival

INTERVIEW AND PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

 

On Sunday, August 27th, from 3:00pm until 6:00pm, Hosted by The Better Birth Foundation and Bay Area Birth Justice Fair, Oakland will have its third Annual Oakland’s Breastfeeding Festival in celebration of World Breastfeeding Month, and Black Breastfeeding Week.  This event will highlight Oakland’s needs for support, community, and education in breastfeeding for ALL breastfeeding people and their supporters.  This event includes all forms of breastfeeding including parents that exclusively pump, receive donor milk, and the LGBTQ community.  There will be a number of speakers, snacks, as well as a local lactation counselors and educators to provide information and support.  At 5:00pm, we will all breastfeed together for one minute in a communal “Latch On” to mark a moment of community, awareness, and support for breastfeeding and its benefits. Oakland’s BFF is providing the opportunity for breastfeeding women to get together in our community, and identify opportunities for on-going support.  For more information, visit our events page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1328993543879974

 

Oakland’s BFF will take place at Lake Merritt’s “Kids Kingdom” located next to the Rotary Nature Center at Lake Merritt, on the lake side of Bellevue Avenue (between Staten Avenue and Perkins Street) in Oakland.  The festival will begin at 3:00pm, with a communal “latch on’ at 5:00pm, and ending at 6:00pm.  This is a FREE event but your donations are welcome to further the work of the Oakland Better Birth Foundation. www.oaklandbetterbirthfoundation.com

 

On August 2001, to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support, United States Breastfeeding Committee declared August, World Breastfeeding Month.  During World Breastfeeding Month, several events take place both nationally and on a global scale.  All of which provide, support, education, and global goals for breastfeeding and its benefits.  

 

The final week of August also marks Black Breastfeeding Week.  This is a monumental movement in its third year brings awareness to the gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates.   According to the CDC, “Black infants consistently had the lowest rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration across all study years” (http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/resources/breastfeeding-trends.htm).  “Of infants born in 2011, 49% were breastfeeding at 6 months and 27% at 12 months.  African American Infants in 2011, 35% were breastfeeding at 6 months, and 16% at 12 months” (http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/nis_data/rates-any-exclusive-bf-socio-dem-2012.htm).  This movement’s goals and the women that founded its direction are calling attention to the nation that support, education, and change is needed to bring up breastfeeding rates.  Please visit http://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/#event-media for more information.  

 

Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies/children, and babies/children who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer (both mom and baby.) The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life to optimize these benefits, continuing to breastfeed for 2 years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by a woman and her child.

For more information:

Laura Cox, LauMrg8@aol.com, 831-229-9947

SamSarah Morgan, LSamsarahMorgan@gmail.com, 510-393-7380

 

###.