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How Black Student Midwives Showed Up For Mothers During The Pandemic

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

This infamous question was one of the standard one-liners posed to me when introduced to my grandma’s friends around the age of seven. Through conversation and experience, I remember childhood responses typically including: ‘rich’, ‘a doctor’, ‘a nurse’, ‘a vet’, ‘a teacher’ and ‘an astronaut’. On the odd occasion, a self-aware lil’ mama with sass and confidence the size of all our heritages combined would throw into the mix that she wanted to be a princess. 

I’d love to see where that Princess is today. Perhaps she evolved into a teacher, a bank manager, a lawyer…or maybe even a midwife. Perhaps she’s already catching babies or maybe she’s just about to start her training? Perhaps she’s black like you and I, and she’s just survived the latest ‘big c word’ – which shall not be named because quite frankly, I think we’re well and truly over it now!

Perhaps she opted in to boldly assume her position on the frontline during the pandemic; not because she’s particularly braver than me or you, but because of her commitment to her calling and to the many women who look like her. Advocating for women who are already at an increased risk of maternal mortality and morbidity meant that for her, opting out was never really ever an option.