Come join us in our quest to save our babies!
Over the years, I have been very fortunate to serve many women during the most vulnerable and exciting time in their lives: expecting a child and embarking on motherhood. Be it her 1st or her 9th precious bundle, I have had the opportunity as a doula, to be invited to provide support at such an intimate time to share the life-changing transition for many families.
In 2006, I met Kim Parish-Perkins, who introduced me to the Fort Worth/Dallas Birthing Project. In 2008, she offered me an opportunity to volunteer as a community-based doula. She failed to share with me what I learned much later, that the opportunity was a blessing for me to impact so many lives through my service to the local birthing project. I worked as a DONA certified and community-based doula serving Fort Worth/Dallas Birthing Project “mommies” and families in their birth experiences. I was also able to teach families the value of childbirth education as a community childbirth educator. The lessons I learned from the strengths of the women, the knowledge I gained from working in tandem with skilled doctors and nurses, and the passion I shared by giving back to my community was invaluable. Unfortunately, in 2009, after serving the Fort Worth and Tarrant County communities for over 10 years, the Fort Worth/Dallas Birthing Project lost its funding and had to shut its doors; but the seed was already planted and the legacy of the Birthing Project was imbedded in my spirit. As a token of my appreciation for the path I tread with the Fort Worth/Dallas Birthing Project, I began my quest to rejuvenate the program back in the community.
With a zeal for childbirth and a zest for service, The Natural Way Birthing Project~ Fort Worth was re-birthed in the community in 2011. The intention of The Natural Way Birthing Project~ Fort Worth is to offer and gather a team of faithful volunteers who wish for and impart to all our families: good health, happiness, fulfilling work, financial stability and someone to share it all with; someone who could embrace the dreams that they would dream for themselves. And do all this with an open heart and mind.
From the beginning, support from community leaders, former volunteers and staff and the families I have served began to pour in. With continual prayer and passion for the cause: reducing infant mortality in the disproportionately, underserved minority community, I plan to continue to take the lead in helping grow healthier babies by providing care, support and resources to their mothers during and after pregnancy.
The Natural Way Birthing Project~ Fort Worth is about more than reducing infant mortality and low birth weight among African-American and minority babies. We are about building communities by fostering hope.
The United States & the state of Texas’ (2013) infant mortality rate data is 5.96 and 5.82, respectively. Tarrant County’s most recent infant mortality rate is 7.11. The City of Fort Worth had an infant mortality rate of 8.4 in 2011. Unfortunately, African-American women in Tarrant County are disproportionately higher in this statistic than another ethnic group with a recent infant mortality rate of 12.76 (2014), which is at least 1.5x higher than any other ethnic groups, but much lower than in recent years. The current reported rate is over 20% lower than the previous year.
Do you want to join us in our quest to save our babies?
The Natural Way Birthing Project~ Fort Worth
Nikia Lawson, Project Director