Midwives share knowledge at weekend conference

After midwifery became licensable in Alabama in 2019, the number of midwives and those who rely on them has grown.

To that end, Tuscaloosa played host over the weekend to the Alabama Black Midwives Conference, offering anyone already in the business or those looking to join it a look at what it takes and the latest news.

Black midwives are essential, organizers said, because of how much more often Black people die during childbirth compared to other races. Many of those deaths are preventable with better access to health care, and that’s a gap midwives are ready and eager to fill.

“Statistically, out of 100,000 Black women, 55 are dying per birth compared with 23 white women,” said midwife Shafia Monroe. “We have a high disparity in Alabama, with one of the highest rates of women going to the hospital and not coming home or dying at home.”

This is the first time the conference has been held in Tuscaloosa, and conferences like these are one more step toward making midwives more accessible in Alabama, organizers said.

If you’re interested in finding a midwife, you can search Alabama’s State Board of Midwifery for a licensed practitioner right here.

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