I’ve pulled no punches about my birthing experience with my first baby, Mari, as chronicled in the popular MyBrownBaby post, Birthing While Black. It’s gotten a lot of attention over the years, and I do hope that it has added to the canon of information the birthing community leans on to help not only highlight Black birth stories but bring change in a system that seems more inclined to leave us and our babies hanging rather than improve our birth outcomes.
I’m so pleased to share that my “birthing while Black” story is featured on The Birth Hour, an audio podcast on which women share their childbirth stories. The host, Bryn Huntpalmer, graciously invited me to share my journey—a raw, honest, beautiful accounting of the night my Mari was born and the chaos that ensued in the days that followed. Here’s a piece of Bryn’s introduction:
Today’s birth story features Denene Millner, who is sharing her experience giving birth to her daughter at a teaching hospital in Harlem, NY. Denene had a doctor that she loved, the support of her husband and made plans ahead of time for what she thought would be a great hospital birth experience. Unfortunately, she was treated like a second class citizen for the majority of her time at the hospital. In this episode, she shares her story and discusses some of the issues that many black women face when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth in America.
Sadly, Denene’s experience was not a unique one as this is a common thread among the maternal healthcare system in the U.S. Too many Black mothers are not only being treated poorly but are dying from preventable causes.
Thank you, Bryn!
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.