Tag Archives: oakland better birth foundation

Doulas are waiting to serve!

Do you know a low income pregnant low-income family in need of doula care or childbirth / lactation education?
Give them a doula for the Holidays!
Call or text 510-393-7380 for details!

Shiphrahs circle image final

Oakland Breastfeeding Festival Press Release



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

Oakland’s Breastfeeding Festival



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



Childbirth Education 4 The Community

We are proud of offer low free slidign scale childbirth education to any family who wishes to attend.


Your instructor is Samsarah Morgan our ED and ICTC Certified Doula Trainer.  Please join our parents group on Facebook to be kept in form of all of the classes and workshops we offer!



Childbirth Education For The Community Face Book Group


Childbirth ed has a open enrollement families can join whenever thy are ready! The slidign scale is 5-80/per family.  Call or text Samsarah for details!


momma statue with sword

Merry Christmas!


Happy Holidays from Oakland Better Birth Foundation!

Next year is going be so very exciting!  We will be welcoming back our Community Doula Program!  Here’s a bit of a blurb!  Sign on to out blog alerts and be kept up to date on this on other projects!


Blessings!  Samsarah Morgan, Founder and CEO


Shiphrah’s circle provides full spectrum, full circle doula support to the Mothers of Oakland CA and The East Bay, we also are honored to support families who have experienced Pregnancy or Infant loss.
We offer, pregnancy testing and referrals, birth doula support , abortion doula support, bereavement doula support. Ceremony planning and Officiation. Childbirth, Breastfeeding and Parent Education  For information please call 510 -595-5534 http://www.oaklandbetterbirthdoundation.com


Event – Oakland Remembers Our Lost Babies 9/27/15


Septenber is Infant Mortality Awareness Month.

Let us gather to remember Oakland’s children who did not live to see their first birthday.

And let us learn the steps we can take as a community to make infant mortality a very rare experience!

Please bring :

a candle
food to share
a story, poem or art work in memory of a lost young one.

What we will do:

we will gather and share lunch together
we will listen to each other
share with each other
share resources and
have a moment of silence – to honor our beloved baby ancestors
and create a community of respect and support.

Who should attend:
All Oakland/ East Bay Citizens
Any one who has lost a child, via miscarriage, still birth or crib death – and loss before its first birthday.

Please wear white.
See you then!

Questions? Please contact Samsarah Morgan ED Oakland Better Birth Foundation and Nia Healing Center for Birth and Family Life

McElroy Fountain @ Lake Merritt 2pm – 6pm

This is a free event but please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oakland-remembers-our-lost-babies-tickets-18590186749#

RSVP using FaceBook via:https://www.facebook.com/events/1041598279191782/

This is a joint production of:
Oakland Better Birth Foundation oaklandbetterbirthfoundation.wordpress.com
Mother Health International motherhealth.org
Nia Healing Center for Birth and Family Life niahealingcenter.org
Occupy (Decolonize) Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting -An Occupy Oakland Caucus
Bay Area Birth Justice Fairs and Forums



Yesterday was our country’s celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday. A holiday long fought for, and certainly well-deserved. With it, we remember the gifts Dr. King gave to this country, and honor all who worked with him during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and 70’s.

This year, this celebration unfolded in the path of our newest incarnation of the Civil Rights fight, the #blacklivesmatter movement. This movement, and the actions carried out under its banner, calls attention to the lives of black men and women at the hands of criminal police personnel. It takes yet another focused look at how racism — individual, cultural, and systemic racism and internalized oppression — leaves African Americans and other people of color out of the American Dream, and sets them up for suffering and death.

To this dialogue, I wanted to add a word about The American Way of Birth. The same infusion of systemic structures makes birthing a child in this country a very dangerous proposition.

The infant mortality rate among black infants is 2.4 times higher than that of white infants, primarily due to preterm birth. http://www.cdc.gov/media/subtopic/matte/pdf/CDCMatteReleaseInfantMortality.pdf
The private nature of infant mortality has made it a quiet crisis, lacking the public discussion or high-profile campaigns that accompany cancer, autism, or postpartum depression.
African-Americans fare far worse: Their rate of 13.3 deaths per 1,000 is almost double the national average, and higher than Sri Lanka’s. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/us/efforts-to-combat-high-infant-mortality-rate-among-blacks.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Statistics are comparable among Native American infants.
The CIA publishes a list of the world’s countries, ranked by their infant mortality rates. At the bottom, with the highest rates of neonatal deaths: Afghanistan, Angola, Somalia. At the top: Monaco, Singapore, Sweden. Where’s the United States? It doesn’t even crack the top 30, falling behind nearly all of its “first world” contemporaries. Recent studies show that the US overall has among the worse infant and maternal mortality rates among industrialized countries. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackie-copelandcarson/saving-our-future-remembe_b_1666409.html
“This racial disparity may be caused by socioeconomic disparities not just in adulthood but across the lifecourse, stress and discrimination, environmental quality differences as a consequence of residential segregation (e.g., pollution, crime, access to parks and supermarkets), and also differences in infant sleep practices,” says Peter C. van Dyck, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Administrator for Maternal and Child Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration http://www.minoritynurse.com/article/quiet-crisis-racial-disparities-and-infant-mortality#sthash.k0sjlE2c.dpuf
Recent increases in black infant mortality also coincide with significant cuts in programs designed to assist the poor, and an erosion of benefits in jobs held by many poverty-level workers.
Blacks have consistently had higher infant mortality rates compared with other racial/ethnic groups in the United States. This gap continues. Blacks had the highest infant mortality rate during the 2002-2004 period (a three-year period yields greater statistical stability), when nearly 14 black infants died for every 1,000 births http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2007/ColorDivideinInfantMortality.aspx
Second generation African women now have the same infant mortality rate as their African-American sisters.

A read though that information above should give a caring person pause. It should shake us to our core as American citizens, and move us to make the changes needed to stop this relentless and unnecessary stream of death.

As we consider the phrase #blacklivesmatter, I would like us to consider all black lives: those of Women, Men, Children, Elders, and Infants.

I would like to remind American citizens of all races that the deaths of people of color is simply the chirping of canaries choking in the coal mine, and that it ought to be the desire of every American citizen to consider making the American Dream align more closely with the dream of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

These dreams must be made available to all citizens. Our constitution says that we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This great country has the resources to facilitate healthy happy pregnancies for mothers of color. The loss there is directly linked to issues of poverty and its resulting stress. It is tied to racism, and to the weight exerted upon a human being living in an environment that tells her over and over again that she is not worthy of life.

Any mammal would have a difficult time with pregnancy and birth in a hostile environment; humans are no exception. The prevailing energetic atmosphere for people of color (and for poor people of any color) in this country is deeply threatening.

Maternal and infant death happens, even if everything is done “right”, but this ought to be a very rare and heartbreaking event. Take a look at the statistics above and imagine the cloud of grief hanging over the homes and hearts of African Americans grieving for lost babies, named and unnamed. How do you imagine the loss of these children and their mothers affect the quality of life for the loved ones left behind?

#blacklivesmatter reminds us all of the outrage of a life wasted, and reminds us of our responsibility to one another as human beings and citizens of this country. To this end, I am inspired by all of the nonviolent direct actions that have been sweeping the country and especially the Bay Area. I am inspired by my fellow citizens as they take to the streets to call again and again for social justice and an end to systematic racism. I pray that those actions remind our government of their responsibility to answer the call of the people, as opposed to the call of monied interests whose aim is quite clear: the padding of their own pockets on the backs of the nation’s children.

I add to this chorus a reminder of the “least of these”: the mommas and their babies, who also have a right to life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness. I believe that Dr. King would be very proud of the Bay Area protests, of all of the protests.

May we keep working till the work is done.

(Thank you, Nicole Vranas, for your invaluable research.)

Remembering Sandy Hook, and all the worlds children!


Today is the anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

The Oakland Better Birth Foundation wishes to call for a moment of silent remembrance the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Lets remember the children who were slain, the brave educators and other adults who risked their lives to secure the safety of young ones.

Let us remember and send love to the grieving families of the slain children and educators.

And may we continue to work with out ceasing until we live in a world where no child, anywhere, needs to fear violence invading their classroom.

Samsarah Morgan, Executive Director

Please spread this event.  Join us on Face Book!