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ICTC International Center for Traditional Childbearing

THE BLACK MIDWIVES AND HEALERS CONFERENCE

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 October 13 through October 15, 2006

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix was founded on the site of ancient Native American canals, hence its name, signifying a new town which has risen from the ruins of an old civilization. Likewise, the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) and the Phoenix Birthing Project has risen out of the ashes and re-constructed a community of partners that have a strong history of working together for healthy birth outcomes and strong families. United in voice and action, we will address the issues of health disparities in our communities to find solutions to eliminate the high rates of premature births and infant mortality, tobacco-related illness, and exposure to environmental hazards that negatively impact families.

The resurrection of a community calls upon the age-old traditions that keep families healthy and babies alive and thriving. As a collective, we all must become listeners, healers and nurturers to improve birth outcomes and to ensure the quality of life for our most fragile citizens-our babies. This conference is a memorial, reminding our society that babies are still dying from preventable causes and that breastfeeding is the optimal nourishment for low-birth weight and premature infants.

The number of premature births in the African American community remains disproportionately higher than that of other races, resulting in higher infant mortality rates. Currently, the national infant mortality rate for African American babies is 14 per 1000, compared to 6 per 1000 for white American infants.  The conference will address causes and solutions, including the effects of poverty, stress, racism, and lack of access to prenatal care for low-income women.

Comprehensive and quality maternal and child health care can be achieved by women, regardless of income, ethnicity or race, by increasing the number of culturally component providers in their community and by building a network of community-based midwives and healers of African descent. Towards this end, BMHC will provide culturally specific trainings to help increase the number of midwives and healers from indigenous communities who are equipped to serve their communities.

The Black Midwives and Healers Conference has a history of success for bringing public health officials, academia, health care providers, community health workers, and families together to strategize and implement solutions for positive birth outcomes, family empowerment and the promotion of doulas and midwives in the Black community, while addressing the needs of the uninsured, low-income, incarcerated, and people of color concurrently.

Speakers, Presenters and Topics!

"It takes a whole village to raise a single child."

International Center for Traditional Childbearing
Midwifery Mentorship Program
Portland, Oregon