About the Fund
The truth about our maternity care system is finally out in the open:
that it is rife with all the same racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic inequities and biases that plague so many other areas of American life. The appauling statistics on birth outcomes shed light on the disparities between black families, (regardless of socioeconomic status) and their white counter parts: rates of severe complications and death 2.5-5 times higher here in Alameda County; 50% greater likelihood of premature birth; much higher rates of postpartum depression; lower rates of successful breastfeeding, and on and on.
And these outcomes don't speak to the less obvious forms of harm and trauma that occur regularly to families of color--negative assumptions and stereotypes, racially and culturally inappropriate language, and disrespectful treatment across all sectors of the system.
As longtime midwives and birthworkers, we know of and/or hear about these occurrances on a regular basis.
Yes, in 2022, in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This state of affairs is unacceptable. But we can't wait for the insurance industry, health care leaders, and politicians to step up and dismantle and re-build the system.
We as individuals and communities must be the change makers.
And it will take all of us.
The idea of the BirthRight Fund has been long in the making:
to create a non-profit entity focused on fundraising and grant-making to cover the difference between what lower-income BIPOC families can afford to pay, and what it actually costs Golden Oak Midwives to provide their full suite of highly individualized prenatal, birth, and postpartum support services. By making need-based grants available, the BirthRight Fund seeks to equalize and expand access to
all birth choices.
We believe--and the evidence shows--that high quality midwifery care and doula support significantly improves birth outcomes; greatly improves women's experiences of their births; and lays the foundation for healthy families.
As a community of birth professionals mostly of privilege either by skin color or economic status or both, we launch this endeavor with humility, with open hearts and minds, and deep love for and commitment to our community and our profession. We are here to do our part. To be allies and advocates as needed, to listen and change, and to help bring the change until the system works fore everyone.
Our mission is to increase access to high-quality, holistic, midwifery and doula care for under-resourced marginilized communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, and to ensure that all birthing people are provided the utmost care, respect, and agency over their birth experience.
A society in which all families, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity and/ or socioeconomic circumstance, have equal access to high-quality, family-centered maternity care
A culture in which all families are treated with dignity and respect; where choices and voices are honored; and all births are safe, healthy, and empowered
A health care system rooted in anti-racism, equity for all, and a deep commitment to self-awareness and self-improvement.
Birth equity and birth choices are fundamental rights to which all people are entitled
Safe and respectful childbirth is essential to strong families, healthy communities, and a civil society.
We and all providers must adopt and continuously cultivate an anti-racist, anti-biased approach to care