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
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 :)