From the 2/16 article in Now Kalamazoo: Rootead gives birth to groundbreaking family care clinic
One of the first clinics in the country for mind-and-body family care is opening in Kalamazoo. An explicit goal is to protect against the harm from a healthcare system that makes Black families particularly vulnerable.
On the day you are born, if all goes well, your world is simple: sleeping, eating, diaper changing, and the cradling arms of those who have made a commitment to keep you safe.
Lurking in the shadows for many parents are socioeconomic threats, the pressure on a caretaker to get back to their job after taking a leave to bring you into the world, and the manifestations of racism that increase risks before, during, and after you were born.
Even something seemingly simple such as navigating the modern healthcare system can needlessly exacerbate the stress of pregnancy.
But a local doula program that began seven years ago is now transforming into one of the first clinics in the country to make wholesale changes to the way mothers and their families are traditionally treated when accessing pregnancy services.
“We understand that nothing health-related is simply health-related,” says Élan Bridges, the director of Red Birth Green, the reproductive-care branch of Rootead. “We got you.”
It will also be just the fourth clinic in Michigan designated as a Perinatal Safe Spot for prioritizing the safety of the pregnant and parenting, with a goal of decreasing infant and mother mortality rates that are disproportionately higher for Black women and babies.
Obodo means “village” in Igbo, one of the languages spoken in Nigeria and the underlying concept behind Rootead. READ MORE