Sunday, October 14, 2012

Uzazi Village Open for Business

We all party hardy at the Uzazi Village Open House
Uzazi Village hosted its Open House last night.  It was well attended and went according to plan (well almost).  As we officially open our doors and invite community members to vie for board seats, I am amazed and humbled that we have made it this far.  The space is beautiful and meets our current needs.  Classes and support groups are up and going.  Volunteers are coming out of the woodwork.  The community vision for maternal wellness grows.   I look forward to our first free community childbirth class coming up next week.  This week also marks the start of our long awaited yoga classes.  I'm so excited that the space will be used in this way.

Line dancing led by our yoga instructor and one of the Sister Doulas
I spent a weekend with Sr. Morningstar visioning what a new model of culturally congruent prenatal care will look like, the model I plan to set in motion once I complete midwifery school.  It was absolutely mind-blowing.  I can't wait to shape and mold prenatal care around the existing community, rather than to bend women to a merciless model of care, that is harsh, and asks the impossible of them, and then punishes them when they cannot comply.  It will not look like what we think of prenatal care.  It will be woman-derived and woman-driven and wholly culturally appropriate.  No more waiting and no more waiting rooms.  No more paternalistic, dictitorial directives that tell rather than ask.  No more five minute conveyer-belt visits.  This is not the proper way to care for any woman, let alone my women.  This does not deliver acceptable birth outcomes.  It does not teach, guide or care about the women it allegedly serves.   A system that barely works for dominant culture women, really does not work at all for the women of my community.  Since we already have the worst birth outcomes of any other group, I have nothing to lose in trying some new innovations.  Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.