April 11 - 17, 2019 - This week, we are conducting a short, anonymous survey of Black birth workers in honour of Black Maternal Health Week. We are interested in hearing about how your identity and lived experience shapes the work you do. We also know that your perspective as a racialized individual is unique and often attuned to what others might miss.
This survey is spearheaded by The Obstetric Justice Project team member, Solana Cain. Solana is a journalist, photographer, and certifying Black birth worker passionate about creating stories that shine a light on reproductive injustice for Black and racialized communities.
March 26, 2019 - In honour of World Doula Week, we’ve put together a short survey for doulas in Canada. Through the survey, we aim to learn about doula training, challenges, and strategies for speaking up about obstetric violence. The information gathered from this survey will be shared online and aid in the creation of future surveys and free shareable/downloadable resources on our website.
“We need to feel comfortable saying “Stop!” when we see cervical checks without consent. Our clients should be the ones to advocate for themselves whenever possible, but there are times when they can’t and we must.”
“As a Catholic teaching hospital, the cultural aversion to informed consent and bodily autonomy in your childbirth unit makes sense, however, some patients raised this culture as an area of concern in the feedback survey. You shared in your letter that you are “continuing to seek learning opportunities that expand care providers’ understanding of what obstetrical [sic] violence is and ways we can ensure patients don’t experience this under our care” In the meeting it was stated that “ideally we need to embed it into some standardized classes” but you were not able to speak to whether “obstetric violence” or “patient mistreatment” are terms that had come up at all yet, even in less formal conversations and huddles on the unit.
However, you expressed with certainty that there have still been no formalized discussions or training around what constitutes obstetric violence, and how to interrupt the cycle of obstetric violence in your Family Birthing Centre. It was also unclear whether the experiences of abuse and mistreatment some patients shared in their survey responses have been addressed in a comprehensive way.”