Black Lives Matter
In the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death, the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) Board of Directors and staff reaffirm our pledge to run an organization that has no tolerance for racism and seeks to support all families regardless of race, religion, color, creed, gender identity, sexual identity, national origin, or social class.
As a provider of education for the childbearing years, we are acutely aware of the disparities in all areas of maternal child health that occur as a direct result of materno-toxic environments, implicit bias, racism, and chronic stress. African American, Native American, and Alaskan Native women are 3-4 times more likely to die after childbirth. African American women have the lowest breastfeeding rates in the United States followed closely by Native American Women. These are only some of the health disparities that affect people of color and other marginalized communities.
ICEA has incorporated the principles of the International Childbirth Initiative into all of its educational programs. The very first principle affirms that every pregnant person and newborn should be treated with compassion, respect, and dignity, without physical, verbal, or emotional abuse, providing culturally safe and culturally sensitive care that respects the individual’s customs, values, and rights to self-expression, informed choice, and privacy. As we currently encounter protests, riots, and an ongoing pandemic, ICEA will continue to train educators and doulas who offer culturally-sensitive education and evidence-based support for all childbearing families.