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The holiday season and the start of a new year can be filled with intense emotion and reflection for many of us. Some people, like Tiana, are juggling the responsibilities of being an employee, family member and growing a precious life inside of her belly. Others, like Leah, will be honoring the sweet life of their angel baby who graduated from Earth way too soon. Each of them knows they would benefit from additional support to ensure a healthy pregnancy and healing process. They reached out to their community in hopes of gaining that extra layer of support. Both Tiana and Leah were able to receive services from a doula who mirrored her culture and values as well as perinatal education classes, and supplemental income to enhance bonding, processing and recovery. Their partners and care team worked in unity to provide ideal birthing and recovery experiences.

These birthing experiences were made possible by sponsorships from Equity Before Birth (EBB), a Black maternal health charity organization whose mission is to save the lives of Black birthers and their infants by increasing access to critical pregnancy related services and support. Our mission is carried out by providing paid leave, covering the cost of doula and other auxiliary services and providing funds for essential baby items. Current research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that Black babies are 2.3 times as likely to experience infant mortality than their White counterparts. It also shows that Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy related issues than White women. These numbers are unacceptable. 60% of pregnancy related deaths are preventable. EBB is working to eradicate Black maternal and infant mortality right here in our community. We currently serve Black birthing people and their babies in Durham, Chatham, Orange, Johnston, and Wake counties in North Carolina.

In the year since Equity Before Birth started under the leadership of Executive Director Joy Spencer, we have:

  • Given $1,800 towards transportation costs to increase access to healthcare during pregnancy;

  • Invested more than $31,000 into the economy to pay livable wages to culturally congruent birth workers and educators;

  • Distributed over $16,000 to help birthing people pay for essential baby items such as diapers, a crib and car seat; and

  • Given $38,700 to Black moms and birthing people as supplemental income, helping families maintain and thrive in the absence of adequate paid maternity leave.

Equity Before Birth will use Beehive funding to provide diapers and other essential baby items to Black moms and their babies. According to recent research, nearly 1 in 3 parents in the United States struggle to afford and access diapers. We are happy to be able to help fill these gaps.

In recent EBB news, we’re delighted to welcome new members to our team! Our services are in very high demand, and we are better able to meet this demand through the expansion of our team. We’ve hired two Family Sponsorship Coordinators- Kelly Collins and Star Mauesby.

Our Social Media Coordinator is Imanie Williams. T Luna Imhotep is our new Chieftess of Staff, and Liat Fleming-Rosko is our Donor and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator.

If you’re interested in getting involved or learning more about our mission, please visit our website to donate, sign up to volunteer, or join our mailing list. You can also find us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Our work would not be possible without generous collaboration and donations from individuals and organizations like The Beehive Collective. We thank you.

[Guest Blog Author: Joy Spencer]



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