January , 2019

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Portland, OR (BlackNews.com) — The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) will be convening African American and other midwives of color at their biennial national conference on October 19-21 in Sunny Isle, Florida to focus on improving birth outcomes and reducing health disparities of women and infants. The 8th Black Midwives and Healers Conference, Returning Power to Birth: Reclaiming Our Culture will provide opportunities for healthcare providers to build skills for cultural competency create and broaden advocacy networks to spur change, and eliminate health disparities in Black communities across the U.S.

ICTC president and founder Shafia Monroe says, “African American babies continue to have high mortality rates, twice the rate of Caucasian American babies. This is concerning given the sophisticated health care systems and services available in the U.S. It points directly to the inequity of basic access to pre- and post-natal healthcare serving the specific needs of Black communities. This is a major health and policy issue that we have yet to solve or even reduce below the startlingly high rates we see today. By bringing together midwives and doulas of color from across the country, we can share information, promising practices, and together develop strategies that will ensure healthy birth outcomes for all women in this country.”

The conference, to be held at the Newport Beach Hotel in Sunny Isle, Florida, will convene national and international midwives, doulas, birth-workers, healthcare professionals, and healers to confirm methods to eliminate infant mortality and build capacity in the African American, African descent and Black communities. It will explore cultural traditions and best practices in the care of pregnant and birthing women, postpartum care and breastfeeding support. The Conference outcome is to increase the number of black midwives, doulas and healers to serve those most at risk for poor birth outcomes by empowering women and families and reintroducing effective cultural traditions.

Featured keynote speakers include Byllye Avery, McArthur Genius and founder of the Black Women’s Health Imperative; Mikal H. Shabazz; UmSalamah Zaimah Abdullah; Maria Valentin-Welch; Dr. Christ-Ann Magloire and the Soul Sistah Midwives. Erykah Badu, four time GRAMMY® award winner, doula and healer, and the National Spokesperson for ICTC, has been invited for special remarks.

The International Center for Traditional Childbearing is an infant mortality prevention, breastfeeding promotion and midwife training non-profit organization. ICTC’s mission is to increase the number of midwives, doulas, and healers of color; and to empower families in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality. Established in 1991 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, ICTC has members and chapters in the U.S. and around the globe to improve health outcomes.

For more information, contact:
International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC)
P.O. Box 11923
Portland, Oregon 97211

Photo Caption: Founder, Shafia Monroe, and midwife student artist

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