You’re listening to the slumber party podcast with your host, Amanda Jewson a mom of two girls, a child and infant sleep expert and general sleep lover. If you’re a tired parent who is desperate for answers or just someone who loves sleep, this podcast was created just for you. Each episode is packed full of tips and tricks to help you maintain your sanity as well as your social life during the early stages of Parenthood. So grab your headphones. It’s time to get comfy!

Speaker 1: (00:00)
You’re listening to the slumber party podcast with your host, Amanda Jewson a mom of two girls, a child and infant sleep expert and general sleep lover. If you’re a tired parent who is desperate for answers or just someone who loves sleep, this podcast was created just for you. Each episode is packed full of tips and tricks to help you maintain your sanity as well as your social life during the early stages of Parenthood. So grab your headphones. It’s time to get comfy!

Amanda: (00:37)
All right. Hello everybody. And welcome to another edition of the slumber party podcast. I’m your host, Amanda Jewson. I am very excited today about Samantha Griffin. Today’s guests for a multitude of reasons. We have spoken to doulas in the past on this podcast. Um, and we’re gonna talk about it again because, sleeplessness in those early days is real. I personally feel like this is something that we’re not talking and preparing mothers enough for. Um, it’s kind of a joke and we’ll get into this myth that, um, it’s kind of this like, mean joke. And, and then, you know, mom’s had these new babies and I have discovery calls with them and they’re like, Oh my God, what is happening? What have I done? But I’d like to introduce Samantha. She’s an impassioned woman who unequivocally believes in the voices of women, especially black women and trust their decisions regarding their bodies, their children, and their families. As a certified birth doula and postpartum doula and certified childbirth educator. Samantha came to the realization that as one woman, she could only support one woman at any given time. So she multiplied her efforts by founding DC, Metro maternity, a boutique parenting support agency staffed entirely by women of color and became a doula trainer. Samantha is committed to building the wealth and power of black doulas, black businesses and the black community as a whole

Amanda: (02:10)
Damn. Oh, that’s good. I’m like, I’m reading your bio and I’m like, yes, I love it. Good for you!

Samantha: (02:22)
You read it really well. Like if you want to do all of the intros that I ever have to have!

Amanda: (02:33)
I’ll send you the clip and then you can just be like, hi, I know this isn’t your voice, but I need you to play this when you’re you’re intro-ing me or just don’t at all, yeah.

Samantha: (02:45)
Yes, please. Yes, please. I love it.

Amanda: (02:50)
Oh, okay. First of all, tell me about your business. You created this yourself. This is all you.

Samantha: (02:57)
Yeah. Yeah. So I’m the owner of a doula agency. We work in DC, Maryland, and Virginia for anybody who’s familiar with the area. We like cross these state lines all of the time. And I began working as a doula seven years ago. That’s still sounds like a long time to me, but it’s true. For the first few years it was kind of something I did on the side and like a passion project. And then one day I realized I don’t actually like working for other people and that meant I had to create a business. So I didn’t become an entrepreneur on purpose, but now it’s a huge part of what I love to do and my identity. And then I got busy. And one of the things that people know if you’ve ever hired a doula or have an idea of what the point of our work is, especially I will say in the us healthcare system, um, where, you know, people don’t get to really connect with their maternity care providers. You know, you meet your OB, um, and she, or he is like one of seven, even your midwife might be like one of four or five in our area. And so people don’t get that relationship that they’re appraising. There’s not a lot of predictability. You don’t know who’s going to catch your baby or, um, you often, if you’re having a Syrian can know, like who’s going to perform, perform your surgery. Um, but yeah, there’s just not a lot of relationships built into things. So,

Amanda: (04:43)
And if you’re in Canada, I had, I had midwives and I know that when you have midwives, you’re generally like, unless you’re very unlucky, you’re going to have one of two for sure. Catching your baby and they’re with you. Okay. Okay. And then,

Samantha: (04:59)
And until we do it as doulas, but not with the midwives. So I should say if you’re doing hospital-based midwives, which most of our midwives here are, hospital-based from birth is a lot less common in the us than it is for you all. Um, and yet people just don’t know who they’re going to get. And so

Amanda: (05:20)
That’s a case for OBS here. If you have an OB, you could have your OB or whoever’s at the hospital, which is why we are, I opted for a midwife because, um, I was an anxious, pregnant person and I wanted, I was like, I need to have some predictability. I needed to know it’s your face or your face.

Samantha: (05:44)
Yes, exactly. And so like, you sound like my people, I spend a lot of my life with like anxious segment books. And, um, as I got as a doula, you know, we always have backups. Like this is the classic doula model. You get me, or you’ll get this woman because we usually are all women, um, that I really trust, but I felt dissatisfied because like, for my anxiety, when I’m trying to create some predictability, I want to be in control of plan a and plan B. I don’t want plan B to be this lady that you trust, but that I’ve never met. And so it just feels better for our clients, for us to work in a group. Um, and then now I have this whole team of women and it’s awesome. I love it. They’re great.

Amanda: (06:40)
I, you and I have a very similar story actually that I am totally an accidental entrepreneur. I was a very happy teacher. I never wanted to leave my job. Um, I taught middle school for the majority of my career and I just loved it. And then I got my dream job. Um, about six years ago at an all girls school. Uh, I just really wanted to teach girls and, and focus on girls education. And because I was allowed girl growing up and loud, girls in coed schools are constantly told to be quiet so that, uh, like a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. And I was like, no, let’s just teach at an all girls school. All girls can be loud. They go my sound and the guy’s like, please stop yelling. And, um, anyway, so, and then I, I loved it. I absolutely loved it.

Amanda: (07:39)
And then I had two babies. Um, and like, I can’t, I can’t say like, Oh my God, I had all these sleep struggles, honestly. Like I was obsessed with sleep. My whole life I read up. My first was a great sleeper. My second by all accounts, also a great sleeper, but, and I’ve said this so many times, no one tells you that when you have two kids, um, you still have the first kid. So, and then there’s the second kid and you can’t just nap all the time. And I really, I like lost my mind and then she started sleeping better and it was all good. But then I started to see all of these moms around me, like searches, struggle, and then stopped showing up to like my mommy groups and my workout groups. And then, um, two of my friends hired something called a sleep consultant.

Amanda: (08:28)
And I was like, what the hell is the sleep consultant? Who like, I game-changer. So I like learned all about it. I was like, Oh, I’ll do this. And again, I’ll do this on the side. I will, this is just such a passion for me. What a gift to give someone like, I’ll do a client a month. And then literally I finished my training. I started my business in may of 2017 by September, 2017. So four months I had to up my prices to make sure people weren’t paying, like, wanting to purchase me. That didn’t work. Um, by January I was like, Hey honey, I’m going to have a nervous breakdown because I’m working two jobs full-time accidentally. And so I think so I gave my notice and then I left and it’s been nonstop ever since. And so when people are like, how did you do it?

Amanda: (09:29)
How did you build your business? I’m like, first of all, don’t do it like me because I did it all wrong. I worked two jobs, had two kids. It was a frigging mess for a year. Um, it’s all fine now, but like total accidental, but I’m almost wondering if like, that’s kind of how the best stuff happens when it’s just this passion project and you want it to like work and you just love what you do so much that you’re like, whatever I’ll, um, I’ll work for free for this month. I just want to make it happen. I’ll and, and then you like really create some juicy stuff, you know?

Samantha: (10:05)
Yeah. I think there’s something that’s really powerful about, like, just feeling compelled to do it. Like for me, I, um, I didn’t have my own kids, but I just saw that the way that things were going down was not how they should go down. Um, I think the very first time that I can ever remember what people asked me and was like, Oh, why did you become a doula? I don’t remember thinking much about like birth and like pregnancy until I was in my early twenties, because I’m an only child. And I was working with girls in foster care. And, um, this was like right out of college. And these were brilliant women. I love wild girls. Yes. Please give me a mouthy woman.

Amanda: (10:57)
Oh, I’m stealing that word. Mouthy. I haven’t heard that in a while. It’s only been said to me about me. Yeah. I love it.

Samantha: (11:06)
Yeah. I was, I was quiet growing up, but it was because like I thought I had to be good. Um, and so I ended up just like writing a lot. They were still like journals in my mom’s house and they’re like full of purple ink and madness. And I like raised my hand a lot. So I was like loud in ways that were socially acceptable. Um, but I remember working with these girls who they just were themselves and they were brilliant. And then magically every once in a while, one of them would like pop up pregnant. And statistically, it was like one in three girls at that time in BC’s foster care system left at, by 21, they leave the system some leave at 18, but definitely by 21 and one out of three of them had a baby or with pregnant. And so I saw this with like my girls and when they would tell me their birth stories, cause I was nosy curious.

Samantha: (12:14)
Um, it sounded so lonely and it sounded so frustrating. And um, I just remember thinking, well, this isn’t how it should be. Like, I know you’re young, this wasn’t the plan. And still like, you deserve better. You’re so worthy of so much better. Um, yeah. And as I like, so eventually like my friends slowly started to have kids who tend to take our time in this area, but yeah, I’m still not rushing it. But what I saw with like people who were having kids intentionally, you know, as like adults with jobs is this story sounded kind of similar, like this lonely scary thing that’s happening to you. And it just didn’t seem like how it should be. And so I almost feel like I couldn’t help, but become a doula. And then, yeah, like you said, I, at first I definitely did it for free and it was just like, well, someone should help. So I’ll help because you know, that’s what you do. And then, um, I was working in nonprofits and just got really frustrated by that. And yeah, I don’t recommend people start businesses. How I started mine either I blew up everything and then was like, okay, well I guess I’ve got to make it work.

Samantha: (13:58)
And I don’t like the idea of thinking, so let me, let me go for it. Totally. Um, yeah, yeah. But I, I love it and I can’t imagine doing anything else at this point. Um, and I am so glad that I get to help people when they’re having babies.

Amanda: (14:19)
You just, you know, just you talking about that lonely experience. Like with my first, um, I didn’t hire a doula. I was kind of uneducated on what an a doula did. I was like, Oh, I have a midwife. I don’t need a doula. And then, um, I, I had the, uh, so my first was two solid weeks late. Okay. So in Canada or in Ontario, I should say, Oh my God, you know what? I wasn’t even like annoyed by the physical symptoms of pregnancy. I had a great pregnancy. I still have PTSD from the calls every day to ask if the baby was here. I am still so angry and like annoyed. And, and I have like, um, there, like I was part of a book club for a really long time. And, uh, there was a book club that was like 10 days past my due date.

Amanda: (15:17)
And I was like, Oh, I’m not going. Um, but I was still pregnant. And um, my friend was like, you should come. And I had a breakdown. I’m like, if anyone, he asked me why the baby isn’t here, I can’t do it. Okay. I can’t do it. And so she’s like, okay, so I’m going to go in and I’m going to tell everybody just to not even say anything and don’t ask you and they didn’t. And we all had a gray. I was so crazy. So anyway, I’m, I’m 14 days late. Um, and in Ontario, they let you go that late with when you’re with a midwife, with a frequent monitoring. So I went for, uh, an ultrasound every other day, baby was doing great. Nice and comfy. Everything’s great. So, uh, on the, so this is like the Friday, I’m going to just tell you my straight I’ll mate.

Amanda: (16:06)
It’s all coming together on the Friday. My midwife was like, I let’s try castor oil. Okay. I’m going to tell you how to do it. Nice and gently. We’re going to do this together. You’re not going to have to be induced. Cause I’m very afraid of needles. Like people are like, why did you want a natural birth? It’s like, because I’m afraid of needles. It’s not because I’m a warrior mom. It’s not it’s because I’m a wimp. And I’m afraid of the idea of a needle in my back, the end, that’s the end of that story. So then she was like, okay, we’ll try the castor oil. And it, like, she told me how to do it. Not a budge, nothing, nothing, nothing. So this is the Friday. I mean, stuff happened, but not a baby. Um, I don’t recommend it. Oh, Oh. Oh. Things happen.

Amanda: (16:56)
And don’t just take castor oil without midwife, uh, guidance. Or do you look at it’s? Don’t just like chug. It it’s a nightmare. So anyway, nothing happened, uh, Saturday have been nothing. So Monday was my induction date. Um, I show up at the hospital on the Sunday night, they were going to like move things along. And I had this, uh, OB nurse and she was like, look how pregnant you are, who will let you be this pregnant, but you know, are you ready for a C-section tonight? These are the words. My husband is six foot five. And she looks at him and she goes, and look at him, look how big he is. You think that you’re just, and she goes, Oh, and I bet you’re with a midwife who let you go this long. And these are all the things that were said to me.

Amanda: (17:47)
This is a 9:00 PM at night. My shockingly, are you ready for this? My blood pressure goes through the roof. Well, I cannot imagine why. I can’t imagine why now. They’re like, maybe you have preeclampsia. We are not going anywhere. Uh, blah, blah, blah, blah. Well, then I’m resigned to having this baby tonight. Everyone’s told me it’s happening. We’re moving things along. You’re being induced right here right now within like 30 minutes. My blood pressure stabilizes. I have no liver enzymes. Everything is fine with me. And they’re like, okay, we’re just, we’re just going to induce you anyway. So I was like, fine. Induce me again. This is now like midnight. Um, they induced me. I went to eight centimeters on Pitocin without an epidural. D I unadvisable, by the way I finally got the epidural, um, was a gorgeous, like the best day of my life. By the way, when that epidurals

Samantha: (18:52)
Hit, I was like, I,

Amanda: (18:54)
I love you to the innocent.

Samantha: (18:59)
Everybody loves the N

Amanda: (19:01)
What a great job, seriously, walking around, being like, you get a drug, you get a drug. You feel good. There you go. There you go. Bye.

Samantha: (19:11)
That’s amazing. And then you totally funny too. Like, they’re usually, you know, jumped in there having a great time. And the rest of the rest are like sweating. Like, Oh God, we’ve been here three days.

Amanda: (19:23)
So all this to say, all this experience I’m having my midwife is like, call me when the baby is there. Like, it’s the middle of the night or call me when you’re close. We don’t know how close you are. And like, she, she totally came. She was there at 5:00 AM. She caught the baby. It was awesome. But between the hours of 12 and five, I was alone in a hospital room with about three different nurses who felt like they didn’t really give a shit. They also didn’t like, we weren’t aligned in what I wanted. I probably may have changed my pain management. Um, but they also were like, surprised that my education around it, I was like, why are you upping my Pitocin when I’m clearly in labor and things are moving and I’m progressing. And she’s like, okay, I’ll turn it down. But like, thank God. I knew that if you didn’t, you would have just been. And I, so for my second, we did hire a doula because I was like, if this happens again, I need someone that isn’t like my terrified husband. And like, if he had to go pee or anything, and my husband was great, but my husband does it. He knows as much as I do, which is not a lot.

Samantha: (20:36)
Right. Yeah. I mean, we can only expect, like we don’t choose our partners because they’re really good at childbirth. That’s not a thing, never in the history of the meeting and pairing of like, that’s why we chose them. Yeah. And it’s, and it’s okay. And honestly, like when I, and I’m going to pick on the men, cause I don’t see this as much with women. Like if your wife is in labor, I think that you must look over at her and just think like, wow, isn’t she amazing? And also all my God, is that what it’s supposed to look like? So you can see it all on their face and that’s not particularly helpful if you’re in the midst of contractions or surges or, you know, whatever we’re calling them for your particular birth plan, if you’re in it and you’ve got all this in sanctions, um, or, you know, heaven forbid they have to go in with not a lot of information to a surgical birth.

Samantha: (21:50)
If you’re having a theory, like they don’t know what’s going on. And I think that we expect them to just know magically when we don’t even tend to know it creates these really lonely experiences that like my, my spiel about it is also that like, this is one day of your life, but very similarly to a wedding, like it’s practice in some ways for what comes next. And once you guys are in it, like you’re setting up in part, at least tell your parents your relationship, that’s going to go together. This is going to impact like what the rest of your family looks like. And so, yeah, sure. You can talk it out and do it on your own and you can do it with the drugs or without the drugs, then it can absolutely be beautiful. And also you can get some help. Sounds better to me.

Amanda: (22:49)
I honestly, I have to say like, it’s so hard to explain. Well, you can probably physically say this is what a doula does, but for me, the emotional support, the physical support that might like my second birth, literally. I just, I have pictures of like, like, uh, it was a beautiful sunny day. I did it drug-free cause I, I didn’t like until the very end, I was like, Oh, they’re like, Oh, the baby’s coming. I’m like, what? And that, that hurt. I wish I did have the drugs for that part. But leading up to that, I legitimately did feel fine because they had, it was such a wonderful experience. Okay. I, I like to keep this podcast to a half an hour because moms, Oh yeah, no, no, no. I feel like we need like four hours and I say this with all my guests lately, but I want to talk about specifically what you’re doing.

Amanda: (23:49)
Um, for women, uh, black women and black birth. And I, I just, as a, in, in the whole black lives matter, I mean the pandemic of race, everything that’s coming out, I am learning a lot as a white woman of privilege and I was shocked and horrified by some of the stats, uh, about black birth. This is something I had no idea about. I am, I’m getting emotional even thinking about it. And this is just something that’s been happening. And as someone who is in this industry, I would love for you to tell us what you’re seeing.

Samantha: (24:33)
Yeah. So, um, I do want to make it clear to your listeners that like I’m seeing from a us perspective, um, and things are different in Canada. Um, I don’t know all of the stats, but you know, when you have a different racial makeup, then of course things are different. And who I would imagine, um, maybe gets the brunt of you. All’s health disparity is, is probably, um, native or I think the preferred terminology there is, uh, first nations people,

Amanda: (25:07)
I think it’s ever changing, but I think right now indigenous populations is probably the most common phrase, but I think every it’s like interchangeable and some people are going to be comfortable with different terminology, but I think you’re exactly right. I think in Canada, it’s going to look, um, you know, it’s going to look like this over a lot of different races. Like we have, um, a huge BiPAP, uh, population in Canada. So like lots of different people without white skin essentially, but indigenous populations, um, are definitely bearing the brunt. Absolutely.

Samantha: (25:49)
Yeah. And, um, I mean, here, you know, what happens for black women is that we are three to four, depending on the year that you pulled stats for us, like three to four times more likely to die in childbirth or in the early postpartum period. Um, and I mean, that just looks like people planning to grow their family and then not everybody makes sense and it’s awful and it’s scary. And where I work in DC specifically, um, we currently, um, well, I guess it’s about time for another round of staff, so maybe it’s gotten better. I don’t know. I always hold out hope, but, um, in 2017 I believe is the last set of steps that I looked at. Um, we were the worst in the nation for, uh, maternal mortality for black women. And so what that means for people getting pregnant, who look like me is that like, as soon as you Google, like black woman pregnant in the us, and of course, you know, Google has all of their geographies stuff, that’s specifically to DC. So like you get like three Washington posts, articles that are horrifying. So you want to talk about like a lonely, scary experience. You know, first people have to figure out, okay, I’m sharing my body with this person who I assume I’m going to love, but I haven’t met you yet. Yeah.

Samantha: (27:26)
We’re going into childbirth. And it’s like, okay, I’ve only heard that that hurts. And I mean, to be fair, like I’m not the kind of dude who lies to you about that. Like it hurts, it hurts. Right. But you forget, you forget about it, thankfully because people keep doing this. Right. They will keep doing it again. Um, but yeah, so people like are already experiencing fear around just plain off birth and pregnancy. And then like what happens after, um, and you know, the shift in identity that comes and the sleep deprivation that people have heard about, and then you add this extra layer of like, am I even gonna be there to be sleepless with my child? Um, and so what it creates a lot of anxiety, this feeling of helplessness and powerlessness, and that’s a terrible way to become a mom. I mean, it’s just, it’s unfair and unreasonable.

Samantha: (28:31)
And so the work that we do is a lot of it. Um, it’s very similar to how I imagine other jewelers work and that, you know, we’re trying to help people find their voice and figure out like, what is it that you actually want out of this experience, but we’re also really working to cut through a whole lot of fear and help people create better relationships with their OB or their midwife and their partners so that it really does feel like a team. And we can like bring back some sense of safety. I think that without a feeling of safety, I mean, it’s one of the reasons why, like, when new parents are up all night, my question as a postpartum doula is always okay, you’re up is the baby sleeping? Because like, I think that sense of safety sometimes gets lost there too, where you’re just like watching this little person that you made and it’s like, okay, are you still breathing? You haven’t moved. Like you’re not crying. Should you be correct? Um, there’s, there’s the same sense of like unknown and confusion and, um, people just want everybody to live, which is a very basic human right. I think. Yeah. Um, and so, yeah, that’s, it feels like my life’s work is to really make it so that we can just have a baby.

Amanda: (30:02)
Well, and I like in Canada, we have some pretty horrific stories about indigenous, um, women being sterilized after birth, or, um, just, just wild stories or like the baby being taken away. And I can imagine that this just creates a total mistress of the people helping you. So you’re in a situation where, well, you know, everyone who looks like me has this experience, so I’m not gonna, I’m not going to tell you when I’m not feeling good and because what are you going to do about it? Like really? Are you here for me? Who are you here for? Like weird. Like, I, I am trying to wrap my head around like a lot of the steps that I read coming out of the U S and for by pop communities is that the infant mortality rate is higher. The maternal mortality rate is higher. The chances of the child making it to their first birthday are, are lower than white populations. So like what, what is the gap like? I’m, I’m, I’m trying to wrap my head around, is it that medical professionals are not listening? Are they not taking the, the, like what’s happening? Is it a lack of resources? Is it all of it? Like from, are you seeing this?

Samantha: (31:29)
Yeah. So it’s, it’s all of it. And it’s kind of complicated. So what I talk to people about is like, there are things that we can control and things that we can’t control, um, the things that we can control. And a lot of my clients, you know, since it is a paid service have done all the things that they can do. Like they’ve gotten an education, they’ve hired a doula. Um, and a lot of times, like generally in their life, they’ve got an education they’re making good incomes, but what we see and it’s really clear in like the DC area is that unfortunately education and income, so like access to resources and, you know, decent health insurance don’t actually change things as much as you would think. Um, and so then, okay, the next thing we look to are the doctors and the midwives, and like, are people listening and absolutely like, I’ve been in the same hospital systems with white clients and black clients, um, and other persons of color. And then sometimes like the birthing person as a person of color and her partner is not. And so I, I see what happens, he’s in the room and

Amanda: (32:40)
Out of the room. So I crazy. Yeah. It’s um, when you know what to look for and you can be objective, it actually is really obvious that some of the biases that I think a lot of us hope don’t exist, they have, Oh, shoot. Okay. Go for it.

Samantha: (33:56)
Okay. So yeah, I’ve been in hospitals, um, and in the same hospital with a white client and a black client and seeing the differences, um, and sometimes even if the person giving birth is a black woman and her partner is a white guy, the difference, even when he goes to her appointments with her and when he doesn’t, um, you know, people have shared that. And so I think that there is a lot of bias that medical providers don’t realize that they carry, um, like lots of people don’t realize yet. And while I don’t believe that anyone goes into obstetrics or midwifery and things like, I don’t want to take care of my patients. I don’t believe in the big, bad doctor. I do think that what we’re all reckoning with in mostly North America is like that we have to deal with racism and we have to deal with unconscious bias and the beliefs that people have about one another that have gone unchecked.

Samantha: (35:09)
Um, and so that’s one of the things that we really work to help our clients manage, um, because you see your provider throughout pregnancy, right? And so while, unfortunately you’re often rotating through multiple providers in the same practice, uh, people often do get a sense of whether they’re being heard and respected and listened to, and when you’re not. Yeah. And I think that, um, as women, generally, we’re often taught to ignore those gut feelings. And I think it’s even truer when you add on a layer of race or, you know, any other like thing that makes you a little more marginalized. Um, and when we tap back into those feelings, then we’re often better off. And if I tell, I tell people like, if you don’t believe that someone hears you and believes you now, when you are perfectly rational and don’t have floods of hormones and your uterus, isn’t doing a whole thing.

Amanda: (36:22)
It’s not going to get better on the big day. Yeah. Um, and then I also, like, I also have to acknowledge the part of all of this that we can’t control when it comes to, um, inequity is in healthcare. And that’s the fact that like living as a black person in the U S exposes you to a lot of extra stress. I mean, you and I are talking after like a hard week racially. I know, I don’t know a better way to, but it, I mean, it’s been, it’s been a, an insane year. Um, and you know, it, every time there’s something in the news where someone isn’t arrested, that should be, that should have been, or, uh, there’s a murder by someone that like, we should be able to trust to keep the peace in our community is like, you can’t help, but feel it. And, and just like in your story, when like the nurses saying all of these shitty things, excuse me, I curse, Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck. We all see, this is an explicit post podcast. I can’t help myself. But I was like, wait, I didn’t ask.

Samantha: (37:40)
So like, it’s, it’s been a shitty year. And when you see that, you know, you can’t help but experience it in your body. And I think we’re even more sensitive in pregnancy, but throughout the course of your life, if every few months you’re having something, raise your blood pressure, or you’re going into jobs where you also don’t feel trusted and heard and respected, and you have to work a lot harder to create a good life for yourself that impacts your body as well. And so there are parts of the maternal mortality, like health inequities that we all have to acknowledge. It’s going to take a couple of generations because like this amount of stress and, um, racism, and just an healthiness, like one with her doctor can’t necessarily fix that. What we can do is absolutely make sure that she’s heard and trusted. And if something goes wrong that someone’s paying attention to her. Yeah,

Amanda: (38:48)
Absolutely. I mean, and so well said, and I, we talk a lot on this podcast about the impacts of stress. Um, just, you know, we talk about sleeplessness and people think sleeplessness is his Rite of passage and parenting, but that it shouldn’t be exactly. And it causes stress and stress is felt in the body. And if you are a, you know, uh, especially a black woman in the U S right now, or, um, any person, a person in the BiPAP community in Canada that has to be adding a layer of anxiety. And just, I think it’s like, I mean, this has been my biggest learning through this whole, you know, uprising. I’ve always felt like a really woke progressive person. And I was like, Oh, you don’t know actual shit. Like I grew up poor, like, and I grew up, you know, feeling marginalized because people would judge my family.

Amanda: (39:51)
And I was like, Oh no, I really identify with these communities. And I am always such a champion. And then I’m like, I actually don’t know shit because this skin is such a pass and such a stress reliever that I don’t have to like carry on. There’s I feel like your skin color in certain parts of the world dictate, like, I feel like you have a compartment in your brain that I don’t have that has to deal with bullshit that you must deal with because of your skin color. And this is the thing that like, I feel like white people don’t, or haven’t understood in the past. It’s like, yeah, no, no, no. I like, I grew up poor and I didn’t, I didn’t have any opportunities. And look at me, it’s like, no, this is literally a passport to whatever you want this skin color.

Amanda: (40:45)
And like the fact that you didn’t have shit every step of the way and doubt every step of the way it means you don’t have the part in your brain. It’s so different. Um, and so I can only imagine how that plays in the body and, and like what that manifest. And we talk about like, I’m really interested in like epigenetics and like, um, intergenerational trauma, like this is just passed on learned behaviors. And absolutely it’s gonna take a long time for it, but it’s possible. I know it’s possible, but it is, it is going to take a long time. It’s not going to be, it’s not going to be like January we’re back. We’re fine. Right. Racism is gone, guys. It’s gone. We make that happen.

Samantha: (41:34)
That would be great. Um, one of the things that I’ve been saying to folks all summer is like, Oh, okay, welcome to the party strap. It it’s a long ride.

Amanda: (41:46)
I feel like every, I mean, every person, every, you know, black woman or black person is like, Oh yeah, well,

Samantha: (41:56)
We’ve been dealing

Amanda: (41:57)
With this shit forever. It’s real. And, um, I it’s like, it’s embarrassing. And all I can say is I’m committed to doing better now than I know. And, uh, it’s, you know, this is, uh, yeah, it is what it is. And it’s all of a foreword for me. Like what can I do now that I, and I feel like legitimately, and I think in Canada, especially, we’re so multicultural and there’s a myth here that like, Oh, racism. It’s like, it’s here, but only in some places. And it’s only like an undercurrent and scale. We’re looking at multicultural. We are, look how many, like Brown people are in the same room look and like all in it, but it’s like, yeah, but is it like, I think it like allows white people this like, pass to be like, no, no, no, I’m Canadian. It’s fine. Like, we’re not racist here. It’s like,

Samantha: (43:00)
Well, so I have some, I have some Canadian friends and I absolutely think that. I also think that like, in some of the East coast cities in the us, like, you know, people think similar things. And I definitely grew up in a place where like, it is totally normal to be middle or upper class and black in the DC area. Um, and so people think like, Oh, everything is fine. You know, we’re exists now. We’ve had Obama. It’s great. Like all of the TV shows that wind up on Netflix, um, from Canada are very like diverse. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one that stars white people actually, maybe that says something about like what Netflix offers me. I’m not sure what you all have up there. I don’t know.

Amanda: (43:56)
Yeah. I mean, I feel like if you were to turn on the news, it is like all of it. I think that most broadcasting companies are like, they make a really great effort to, for representation. For sure.

Samantha: (44:10)
Yeah. And your presentation is important, but it doesn’t like the compartment. And I like your description, this compartment where like, you spot the bullshit, you decide how you’re going to deal with it. Like that just is, it’s just like background noise to me. Like, there are things where like, I am with someone who is white and like notices stuff, or like, um, I’ve been in Facebook comments threads. And like, I don’t even notice it anymore. I’m just like, Oh yeah. Okay. This is bullshit. This is my standard response to that bullshit. Meanwhile, like my friend is like enraged on my behalf and I’m like, Oh, Oh yeah. Okay. You still have the energy to get pissed about this. Okay. But

Amanda: (44:58)
I feel like even as like a, I mean, white women, we know we have the woman compartment. So we know what that feels like and how we walk around subduing our behavior for men, or like making ourselves small or changing what we were going to say or laughing a little bit more. We have that fucking compartment. So we could maybe understand, like imagine having to have that. And just that’s. I think the thing that, um, that, that like gets me a little bit, like I have people, you know, write me on my Facebook, like coming back about like anything I post about black lives matter. And I just want to be like, fuck right off. I’d have no time for this. I have no time for this conversation. It’s not something like you were, and I can really understand. Let’s just do what we can to support and, and shut up and learn mostly. And, and like, you couldn’t even, it’s like a man, I was gonna say a story, but I’m not gonna say it on this podcast. Um,

Amanda: (46:07)
Teaching women about their bodies or like, you know, at another point I had like, um, a male gynecologist who was a Dick and I was like, yeah,

Samantha: (46:19)
So how are you?

Amanda: (46:22)
Tell me about what this feels like. Don’t tell me that painful. You don’t even know what I’m talking about anyway.

Samantha: (46:29)
Right. Unless you’ve had a speculum that should have been warmed shoved up anyway. So this is like

Amanda: (46:38)
People go to tell the BiPAP community, anything. I just want to like, just be quiet. I mean, I hope I’m not doing that ever, but like just be quiet just yeah.

Samantha: (46:51)
Yeah. I’ve, I’ve taken to just telling people, like, not now, like not now, just give us a minute. We will come back to you. Yeah. Um, yeah. Well, thank you for,

Amanda: (47:05)
I could talk to you for hours. In fact, I feel like I’m just gonna, we should connect again, uh, out mother stuff. Um, but this was so, so great. I’m so glad that we chatted now, obviously. Um, I do have quite a few American listeners. So if you are in the DC area, please find Samantha or maybe just move. Um,

Samantha: (47:31)
What was your, we’re actually not this bad in this area, but frankly, if you’re coming from Canada to the us while COVID is still a thing, like I don’t recommend that like stay where you are, see you in 2022,

Amanda: (47:53)
A hundred percent. Well, everybody thank you for joining us for this edition of the slumber party podcast. Um, Samantha, where can people find you if they want to learn more about you?

Samantha: (48:06)
Awesome. Thanks for asking. Um, I am at DC. Metro maternity.com, um, would love to have you, and thanks so much for having me. I love the podcast and I had a great time. Thanks.

Amanda: (48:20)
Thank you. Bye Samantha.