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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Nourishing our Roots: Nurturing conversations on Black maternal health

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Sierra Woods
Sierra Woods

My name is Sierra Woods, and I am the founder and Executive Director of MelaMama Maternal Wellness. As a registered nurse, International Board-certified lactation consultant, and postpartum doula, I am deeply committed to supporting new parents, with a focus on women of color, through their journey into parenthood.

I am honored to serve as the curator of the event, “Nourishing Our Roots: Nurturing Conversations on Black Maternal Health.” This event, hosted by MelaMama Maternal Wellness Inc and the Black Indiana Collaborative of Nurses, is designed to raise awareness during Black Maternal Health Week.

Our event will be unlike any other, featuring a unique planting workshop led by Andrea Williams from Indy Plant Room. Held at The Rejoicing Vine, attendees will not only engage in meaningful conversations but also enjoy a selection of charcuterie and wines, including Rejoicing Vine’s own non-alcoholic and regular options.

The centerpiece of our event is the planting workshop, where participants will learn about nurturing and caring for plants. This parallels the importance of self-care, support, and education during pregnancy and the postpartum period. By tending to plants, we symbolically connect with the idea of nurturing ourselves and our communities.

Hosting events like this is a personal mission for me. My last event, “EmpowerHer: Navigating Black Maternal Health” on January 27, 2024 was a huge success and shined the light on the importance of having a strong support system during your pregnancy and postpartum journey. The staggering number of Black mothers who die each year from pregnancy or postpartum-related complications is a stark reality, especially in Indiana, where the maternal mortality rate among Black women is alarmingly high.

Through education, community engagement, and resource provision, I am dedicated to changing these statistics and ensuring that Black mothers receive the support and care they deserve. “Nourishing Our Roots” is just one step in this ongoing journey toward equity and justice in maternal healthcare.

My call to action is clear: we must collectively strive for change. We must advocate for policies that prioritize maternal health equity, dismantle systemic barriers, and invest in culturally competent care. We must amplify the voices of black mothers and center their experiences in healthcare discourse and decision-making processes.

I invite you to join us in this pivotal moment. Let us plant the seeds of change, nurture them with our collective determination, and cultivate a future where every black mother receives the care and support she deserves. Together, we can rewrite the narrative of black maternal health in Indiana and beyond.

I stand committed to this cause. Will you stand with me?

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