Saviours' Day Gift 2013 Drive

Saturday, January 1, 2011

JayVon Muhammad Teaches Us About- The Birds & The Bees, Teaching our Daughters the TRUTH about Sex, Relationships, and Marriage

I am so excited to finally interview Sister JayVon Muhammad who has wrote two phenomenal books.

Let me introduce you to:

Name: JayVon Muhammad

Writer & Author of:

Baby Mamas, A Midwife's Guide to Ending the Epidemic

The Birds & The Bees, Teaching our Daughters the TRUTH about Sex, Relationships, and Marriage

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

JayVon Muhammad is a married mother of three, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds licensure as a midwife from the California Medical Board, and certification through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). She has more than ten years of experience in women’s healthcare, and is a homebirth advocate.

In 2005, after several years of working in the healthcare field, and learning about the horrible disparities as they relate to healthcare in the Black Community, JayVon founded Urban Midwifery, Inc. Urban Midwifery, Inc. is a non-profit agency dedicated to addressing the disproportionately high infant mortality rates in the Black Community. Today, Urban Midwifery hosts educational workshops and events for undeserved teens and women, and provides free limited prenatal care to uninsured women. Urban Midwifery also collects and distributes groceries, diapers and other necessities to women in need, especially during the holiday season.

In 2008 JayVon accepted a position as a midwife with the Sacramento Birthing Project Clinic, a clinic that serves low-income women. This opportunity allowed her to follow her passion, educating teens, and providing midwifery care to low-income women. This work inspired JayVon to branch out on her own and found SistaGirl Midwifery in 2009.

You wrote two books. What is the name of the books?

1. Baby Mamas, A Midwife's Guide to Ending the Epidemic

2. The Birds & The Bees, Teaching our Daughters the TRUTH about Sex, Relationships, and Marriage

What are you looking to accomplish from these books?

book1: Today, women are becoming pregnant without any knowledge of pregnancy, and/or what it takes to have a healthy pregnancy, and make a healthy baby. Women are entering care ignorant, in poor physical health, in poor social health, and without the proper support.

I wrote Baby Mamas, A Midwife's Guide to Ending the Epidemic, as a tool for my patients/clients. It is a book that they can take home after our first visit, read quickly, and return prepared to discuss...

And it has definitely opened the women up to discussion. They spend the next visit trying to prove to me that "they" are not the women of the book. Ultimately, it opens up for discussion, issues that they would normally avoid.

Over the years I have recognized a pattern for women, young Black Women in particular. Black Women are coming into prenatal care ALONE, without husbands, and rarely with even committed partners. Being alone is complicating our pregnancies, physically and mentally. It is my belief, and professional opinion, that the fact that over 72% of our babies being born out of wedlock to "Baby Mamas" is contributing to the disparity in infant mortality in the Black Community, where our babies die almost three times more than white babies from the time a woman is pregnant until baby reaches one-year old. Of course, there are other factors contributing to the disparity in infant mortality like, smoking, substance abuse, poor nutrition, poverty, etc...

book2: I wrote The Birds & The Bees for mothers. In California, and some other States, there are laws that protects girls 12 and above from having to inform their parents about abortions, or get their parents permission to visit family planning clinics for birth control,pregnancy testing, and abortions. It is criminal, and many mothers don't even know. I wanted to equip mothers with the information that they need to discuss relationships and sex with their daughters themselves. Many times moms express concern about having this conversation, or even ignorance to what should be discussed. The Birds & The Bees introduces mothers to some modern terminology, culture, and suggest a curriculum.

The Birds & The Bees is also written for mothers that have given up, and allowed society to teach their children about sex, verses them teaching abstinence. This became apparent after mother after mother was bringing her daughter into the clinic themselves for birth control, particularly Depo-provera (injection), as early as 13 years-old. I try to reason with, and explain to the mother that when we only address unplanned pregnancy with our daughters, and our desire that they not get pregnant, that is the only message they receive. Then they spend allof their energy avoiding pregnancy instead of avoiding premature sexual relationships that may expose them to pregnancy at the least, and possibly even an uncurable sexually transmitted infection at the most.

What will readers learn from these books?

I think that readers will begin to discuss the importance of proper relationships and marriage before pregnancy. I also think that parents will learn that there is still hope in teaching our girls about abstinence until marriage, and in doing so we are improving the lives of our daughters, and the condition of the community overall.

I think mothers will end the book feeling empowered, and motivated to discuss relationships with their daughters. I also think that mothers will learn some things that will help them with their own health.

I really see how women can value from this book. Tell us how can men benefit from reading these wonderful books?

For men, the book Baby Mamas, A Midwife's Guide to Ending the Epidemic, can also be useful. The information about relationships - the science of mating, applies to both woman and man. Just as women have to go back to basics and learn how to be better women, men have go back and learn how to be better men. That way, we make better couples, better children, and better communities.

The Birds & The Bees, Teaching our Daughters the TRUTH about Sex, Relationships, and Marriage can be very valuable to fathers! Fathers also need to know about the development and obstacles that their daughters are having. They need to learn how to recognize certain behaviors, and understand how girls feel about certain developments, such as her first "period".

Tell us about your business?

I work at a clinic several days weekly, and when not at the clinic I run a "homebirth" practice, SistaGirl Midwifery. At SistaGirl Midwifery we offer homebirth services. We also sell natural and unique products for pregnancy, postpartum, and new mamas/babies.

SistaGirl Midwifery's goal is to bring our pregnant women who are having healthy, low-risk pregnancies, OUT of the hospital, and into the comforts of their home. In the U.S. the Cesarean section rates have skyrocketed, and now 1 out of every 3 births is by Cesarean. This statistic is outrageous! We know that poor women and women of color are more likely to receive an unjustifiable Cesarean section. We are encouraging our women to come out of the hospitals for birth - which is a normal process.

I am also founder and Executive Director of Urban Midwifery, Inc., a non-profit agency dedicated to ending the normalization of the Baby Mama, and educating women about the importance of marriage in pregnancy. Urban Midwifery, Inc. provides free prenatal care to women who do not have insurance, access to our Urban Mama Store which has donated clothing and food, and childbirth education. We also host conferences and workshops that stress the importance of Black Marriage and healthy relationships.

What last thing would you want the world to know about you?

First comes love, then comes marriage, THEN comes the baby in the baby carriage. I am on a CRUSADE to end the normalization of the Baby Mama in the Black Community! I intend to educate all women who cross my path about the importance of healthy marriage in pregnancy. I plan on doing this one woman at a time until all women (and their husbands) are prepared to give birth to a god!

How can readers reach you?

Thank you for everything you continue to do. May God bless you much success.

Praise be to Allah! May Allah also bless you and your family :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Get to know our Doula | Sister Lakisa Muhammad |

When looking at the title of this article, you are probably asking what in the world is a Doula? Ha Ha Ha, Well I have the person to explain that. The wonderful sister who was my wife and I support person when preparing to give birth to our beautiful daughter (Nur Al-Huda), has taking time out of her busy schedule to be interviewed.

Let me introduce you to beautiful mother, wife, and teacher!

Sister Lakisa Muhammad

Founder of:
A Mother's Worth Birthing Services

First and foremost, tell the world what is a Doula?

Throughout the annals of time, women in labor have been supported by other women. In recent years, the word, doula, has been used to describe that woman. Doula comes from the Latin meaning woman's servant. I also reference the Arabic word, Abdullah, which means "servant of." While a labor doula is not medically trained, she is fluent in natural comfort measures to help ease the discomfort of labor like massage, visualization, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, movement and many other techniques. She can provide information on the benefits, risks, and alternatives of hospital interventions to assist families in the decision making process. She does this all while providing continuous emotional and physical support to not only the laboring woman, but her family as well. A doula in on call 24 hours a day from 38 weeks gestation until labor begins. Doulas remain with their clients for the duration of the labor, the birth, and at least one hour postpartum. If it's 24 hours or 4 hours, doulas don't leave! Doulas do not replace dads, grandmas, or aunties, but work with them as a team to provide the best support possible.

What got you started to become a Doula?

I was blessed to have a doula at the birth of my twins seven years ago. The hospital where I gave birth offered its patients a doula free of charge through a grant based program. I really wanted a natural birth and while my husband was wonderful, I was struggling! I requested a doula and shortly after a perfect stranger arrived to help me. My doula, Cynthia, helped me through labor positions, massaged my feet and back, breathed with me through contractions, and even took pictures after the babies arrived. Needless to say, she didn't leave a stranger; she left as a dear friend! I have never forgotten that experience and after a difficult pregnancy was so thankful to say I had a wonderful birth. Cynthia and the knowledge I acquired during that pregnancy ignited a desire in me to help other women in labor. That desire has grown in a burning passion and manifested itself into my business, A Mother's Worth Birth Services.

How long have you been one?

I have been working as a doula for 7 years now. I started supporting women after my first birth experience and haven't looked back. I have a young family and for the many years I devoted my time to teaching childbirth education and providing breastfeeding support. Now that the children are a little older, I'm focusing more on the doula side of my business.

How common is it to use a Doula and/or a midwife in the birthing process?

In the White/Caucasian community, doulas have become very commonplace. Many women seek them out, are willing to pay, and are benefiting from their services. Even if they don't already know the term "doula" once it's explained, they recognize the benefits. And as mothers grow dissatisfied with obstetricians and the medical model of maternity care, many are turning to midwives, stand alone birth centers, and home births. In the Black community and others of Color, not so much! The same goes for attending independent childbirth birth education classes. I find myself having to not only brand my business in the birth world, but having to explain why it's important to even take a class or "hire" someone to attend a birth. I see a great sense of apathy as it concerns birth in our community. This is very disheartening considering that the Black community is at the top of every negative statistics concerning childbirth. Those statistics include infant mortality (death), maternal mortality (death), premature birth (babies born to soon), low and very low birth weight (under 5 lbs). It is my sincere belief that Allah (God) answers our prayers and cries for help through the womb. When we do not honor and reverence the birth process, we are denying ourselves freedom, justice, and equality.

Is there such thing as a black Doula? (explain)

Well, yes and no. I'll explain. As a doula, I can and will support any woman in labor. I do not market myself as a Black doula. Birth is as universal as a baby's first cry. The process is the same for all women, and in my heart I believe that every woman deserves the high quality care and attention provided by a doula. The difference lies in the way we are handled by medical professionals. When I became a mother, I was 24 years old, married, held a bachelor's degree, had a professional job, and took over 20 hours in childbirth education classes, but was treated by some nurses like the most ignorant person on Earth. No one understands racism until you've felt it. So in that regard, when it comes to advocating for the rights of laboring women and understanding the cultural nuisances we face, I believe we do have to make a distinction.

Why should people have home births and/or use that profession over utilizing the experts of the Doctor profession?

Currently in the US, home births account for less than 1% of all births, while it is estimated that 90% of the world's population was born at home. What's wrong with this picture? Women have reported that birthing at home was more comfortable, more convenient, and a way to keep the process normal. A woman in labor is not sick, she's having a baby! I believe that the number is low in the US for two reasons.
One is the cost factor. Unless a family chooses to birth unassisted that is with no medical professional present, they will hire a midwife to attend their birth and provide prenatal and postpartum care. The fee that the midwife will charge is usually not co
vered by insurance thus must be paid out of pocket by the family. Although most midwives do offer payment plans, this is a major barrier for most people. In doula work, I run into the same issue. Folks just can't understand why it cost so much. I find it interesting that most them spent more on their wedding cakes than I charge and I would venture to say the total costs of the wedding was more than the midwives' fees. It's simply an investment. An investment in a memory that you will recall vividly for the rest of your life is the birth of your child.

The second reason I will offer is that many worry that something will go wrong. WHO, the World Health Organization, has reported that 90% of all births will be normal, uncomplicated births. WHO has also stated that there is no evidence to support that for women who are considered low risk, home birth is no less safe than birthing in a hospital. I believe when we begin to have confidence in the birth process again, we will understand that the fear of home birth is unfounded. We have become so reliant on technology, we have forgotten that the act of birth was created and ordained by Almighty God, Allah. We just have to believe.

You have explained the business from the eyes of others. Well tell us about your business?

A Mother’s Worth Birth Services was created to educate, support, and encourage mothers in a fresh, engaging way. Its mission is to lower the infant mortality rate, decrease the rate of-premature birth, and increase the number of breastfeeding mothers through childbirth education classes, doula services, Dancing for Birth (TM) classes and breastfeeding support.

A Childbirth Education Course Worthy of You

You and your support people will enjoy an interactive, creative educational experience while creating birth art, completing journal assignments, and exploring the mind-body connection of birth. In a series of classes, participants will learn about the anatomy and hormones at work, the stages of labor, natural comfort measures, hospital interventions, and newborn care including breastfeeding.

Valuing the Mother Doula Services

By hiring a doula (pronounced doo-la), you will receive continuous physical and emotional support as you birth your new little blessing. As your doula, I will use my professional training in natural comfort measures to ease your discomfort, remember all the labor details you forgot, and be your friend as you bring forth new life. Doulas don’t replace Dads, so I will be committed to helping you and your family for the duration of your labor.

Dancing For Birth (TM) Classes

Dance your way to an easier, more enjoyable birth experience by combining African rumble, Latin sizzle, Caribbean spice, and the sensuality of belly dance. Learn to love your pregnant figure while you adulate to the rhythm of beat with other moms-to-be. This low impact workout is infused with childbirth tips to boost your confidence and knowledge. Dancing for Birth is a fun, fabulous way to prepare for the birth of your child.

Lastly, understanding the responsibility and importance of birthing children is paramount to changing the world as we know it. My focus is prenatal education and helping mothers to create a peaceful, holistically positive birth experience. We hope to serve all mothers and help them understand their limitless value.

What advice do you have for new mothers and mothers that have given themselves to the hospital for child birth?

I say this to all of your readers, be they Muslim, Christian, Black, White, Latino, Asian, etc, if you are even thinking about becoming pregnant, go to and order a copy of How to Give Birth to a God by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. It a lecture series based on the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad that will change your outlook on birth the moment you begin to listen and forever more. It is that powerful.
After you do that you will have the confidence to believe in yourself and that your body was made to give birth to your baby. Step out on the water, have faith, and know that you can do it.
Then choose your care provider very wisely. Make sure he or she shares your philosophy toward birth and will respect your requests when the big day comes.
Next, take an independent childbirth education class. The goal of many hospital based classes is to indoctrinate you into hospital policy. They are there to simply make you a good patient. If a natural birth is your goal, choose an independent class.
Next, hire a doula! Medical studies have shown that a doula's presence increases positive feelings and perceptions of one's birth experience, reduces the need for medical interventions, reduces mother's requests for pain medications and epidurals, and tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications.

What last thing would you want the world to know about you?

Birth is my passion. It is my calling. The upliftment of the importance of the birth process and the celebration of motherhood is my purpose. It feels so good to know that.

How can readers reach you?

Your fabulous readers may reach me via telephone at 602-429-9501 or via email at, on Facebook as A Mother's Worth, or through my blog, A Mother's Worth Birth Services