“To Doula” or “Not to Doula”
Let’s View Some Facts On The Matter
By Sister Nintu Xi Gilmore-Bey
The word Doula (Doo-La) is a Greek word meaning Women’s Servant. Women have been serving women in childbirth for many centuries and have proven that support from another woman has a positive impact on the labor process. Most doulas go through academic training with the option to become certified. Doulas assist women in various settings including homebirths, hospitals, and birthing centers. Doulas provide support in the nonmedical aspect of labor and birth. Doulas give continuous emotional support, physical comfort and assistance to our clients while obtaining and sharing information supportive of informed consent before, during and after childbirth. Doulas understand the Physiology and Spiritual connection of birth remaining by the side of the laboring woman. Doulas encourage communication and presence of the father. Doulas also nurture and protect the woman’s memory of her birth experience.
As a Women’s Servant, we give continuous support to the mother and family. Most Doulas advocate for nature’s-way of the birth process.
What is Support?
- Listening, never telling own story
- Offering a hug, touch, handkerchief….caring, i.e. Not offering advice
- Helping women discover and empower their feelings, Never negating them
- Supporting and Helping woman identify options, Never telling the client which to choose
- Discussing steps available to the client –Not take steps for her
- Helping client Discover she can help herself, empowering her strengths –Not take responsibility for her, nor to rescue her and leave still vulnerable
- Help women learn to make difficult choices-Not to make it unnecessary for her to make difficult choices
What services does a Doula offer?
During Pregnancy: Helps client prepare for birth and create their own unique “Birth Plan.” Provide emotional support as well as reliable information. Help client to access community resources, offering two or more prenatal visits.
During Labor and Birth: Maintain a continual, encouraging presence at the place of birth. Provide hands-on comfort measures. Help client navigate the medical setting and ensure her wishes are respected.
After Labor: Create or assist with your very own “Birth Story” Memoir. Visit you in your home within days of delivery assisting and answering questions about newborn care. Suggest comfort measures to help postpartum recovery, offering two or more postpartum visits.
In the Know……….
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of doula-supported births. As you consider a doula-supported birth, consider these few findings:
Effects on birth outcomes:
- Labors are 25% shorter. There are fewer complications.
- Cesarean rates are reduced by 50%.
- There is 40% less need for Pitocin (the artificial form of Oxytocin) to speed up labor.
- Need for forceps is reduced by 40%.
- Women request 30% less pain medication and 60% fewer epidurals.
Effects on the mother:
- Greater satisfaction with their birth experience.
- More positive assessments of their babies.
- Less postpartum depression.
Effects on the baby:
- Babies have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care.
- Babies breastfeed more easily.
- Mothers are more affectionate to their babies postpartum.
Effects on the healthcare system:
- The cost of obstetrical care is dramatically reduced.
- Women are pleased with the personalized care doulas offer.
- The benefit of continuous support in labor is recognized by:
- The World Health Organization,
- The Medical Leadership Council (An Organization of over 1200 U.S. Hospitals),
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently changed their regulations stating that states can reimburse for “preventive services” recommended by a physician or a licensed practitioner…within the scope of their practice under State law. More Doulas are being trained to work in a medical setting and are adapting to more of a medical perspective to which that Spiritual, nurturing, protection and informed consent aspect are slowly giving way.
Doulas Save Costs For Medicaid Recipients.
Islam Moabites and Moabitesses,
Please allow me to share a little about myself and my journey. I am Nintu Xi(she) Gilmore-Bey and domicile in the Wayne County Michigan Republic with my three children. My Sun sign is Cancer which supports my nurturing Spirit and love for children.
My journey into the service of humanity started in 1995 in the medical profession. I trained and worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant, Medical Assistant, and Phlebotomist with a degree in Science. I’ve worked in the clinical and the administrative setting of the medical profession for over 20 years now in various settings. Also, I was once self-employed as a Servsafe Food Safety Managers Instructor and Registered Exam Proctor training restaurant staff, owners, and managers. Working for Matrix Human Services gave me an opportunity to work as a Data Analyst Associate qualifying and enrolling poverty-stricken families into Matrix community programs and their children into head start. I currently work as an Administrative Assistant to the CEO of a Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH). In 2006, I transitioned into the Wholistic aspect of well-being, curing ailments of my children and helping family and friends. I have been a doula since February 2012 and attended The Center for Childbearing Years in Ann Arbor, Michigan for my academics. I love the work and the families I serviced. After a 2-year hiatus, I am eagerly making my way back into my service as a doula bringing my innovative creativity, courage, Divine Spirit and humility to be of service to women in childbirth. Some of my gifts that I bring as a doula: my innate nurturing Spirit, knowledge in health, food preparation and diet, herbalogy, the ancient art of Tapology, Yoni Steaming, the science of how the mind, body, and hormones work in favor of labor and birth, acupressure and breathing techniques, aromatherapy, imagery and music therapy, Orgasmic Birthing, rebozo cloth techniques, and various comfort measures for pain management and labor progression. My passion leads to my innate desire to become a Midwife with a vision to open a birthing center. I have been journaling this vision for the past 5 years now and I can’t wait to share it with you all, Inshallah.
Peace and Well-Being!
By Sister Nadira Jenkins-El
“Let Food be Thy Medicine, and Medicine be thy food”
(attributed to Hippocrates)
In today’s society it seems as if a pill has been created in a lab for any sickness, illness and disease from which any of us may suffer. A few years ago my doctor told me (after several visits) that my blood pressure was high and that same Dr. was now recommending that I start taking medication daily to stabilize it. After going home (prescription in hand), I decided to do some research on the side effects of the prescribed drug. It seems easy enough to just take a pill but listening to the long list of side effects alone scared the holy crap out of me! Not only that, I considered the fact that taking a pill is not a cure. I did not want to have to take a pill every day for the rest of my life, never getting better.
So, I began to wonder, how can I heal myself from this illness naturally? When I posed this question, and began to do research along with my studies toward wholistic wellness, the answer to this question was quite simple and has been right in front of us the whole time!! The human body is created as a very complex organism composed of yet simpler organisms with the ability to heal itself lying within each of us. The best way to achieve that healing is through the foods we put into our bodies. If we supply our bodies with the necessary nutrients, we can, and will, heal and cure most illnesses. Wow!!!! Who would have thought all we have to do is change the foods we are ingesting to heal? Here I am, more than 2 years later with regularly normal blood pressure readings and an overall healthier life!, which is why I want to share with you how you might be able to start healing yourself through your foods.
So, let’s take a little look at some reasons we have had such a major increase in illnesses, allergens and diseases and how we can eat to heal and live a longer healthier life.
Quoting the Stateofobesity.org website: “Over the past 35 years, obesity rates have more than doubled. From 2005 to 2006 to 2011 to 2012, rates remained the same. The average American is more than 24 pounds heavier today than in 1960.
More than a third of adults (34.9 percent) were obese as of 2011 to 2012.1 More than two-thirds of adults were overweight or obese (68.6 percent).
Nearly 40 percent of middle-aged adults, ages 40 to 59, were obese (39.5 percent), which was more than younger adults, ages 20 to 39 (30.3 percent) or older adults, ages 60 and over (35.4 percent)”
Enough said! Our food supply has changed significantly in the past 50 years. Instead of many farmers’ markets and people getting their food from local sources as was the case some 50 years past, we now have supermarkets offering people most of their grocery items. This has created the nation’s demand for the mass production of foods eventually introducing and marketing GMO (genetically modified organism) and processed foods to the nation’s consumers. Processed foods have a longer shelf life and the cost is very inexpensive due to chemicals and other preservatives added.
Over a relatively short period of time, we went from eating mostly local, fresh unprocessed foods to eating foods made in laboratories and industrial plants. The remedy to this is to go back to eating locally and organically grown foods keeping in mind that different foods hold different healing properties. For example, some foods such as Turmeric, Celery and Blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties, while super foods like Kale, Spinach, Avocado, Broccoli and Quinoa are foods that are nutrient-rich helping to repair damaged cells. This process is just as simple as eating more live foods (fruits, and vegetables). Believe me this process is a lot easier when you have some creative ideas on getting healthier and live foods incorporated in your eating habits!!
Check out these 3 easy tools you can use to get on the track of eating foods to heal!!!
Juicing is a process which extracts water and nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables providing vitamins and oils necessary for more complete nutrition at the cellular level.
Eating our vegetables and fruit in their raw form provides us very high forms of nutrients, fiber, potassium and magnesium. A report from the ‘Journal of Nutrition’ states that “…increased use of raw foods in our diet lowers both cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body, some of the main indicators for heart disease, obesity & high blood pressure”. The Global Health Center.com website tells us that “…increased energy, improved skin and weight loss are other benefits” of consuming raw foods.
Starting with these three points-of-entry and decreasing, with a view to eliminating, processed and GMO foods you will be well on your way to healing yourself through foods!
Islam Fellow Moors
As we approach the Islamic Month of Rabi’ul-Akhir – Jumadal-Awwal 1439 (January 2018, Gregorian), with it comes plans to make positive changes in all areas of our lives. Be it health, career or family related, we can all identify with the idea of “new year, new changes, new resolutions”. I write this article with love in hopes that we all can begin to embrace and cultivate our lives around being “food sovereign”.
Food Sovereignty, by online definition is “the right of peoples healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems”. Changes in how we identify with food and how our food is supplied has been an ever changing and growing topic of discussion over the past decade. With the passing of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act  in 1990, this required that all major manufacturers of prepackaged, frozen, canned and liquids food and drinks, label their food products with “Nutrition Facts”; information on the nutritional values per serving size in each product. The labels detail the amount of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fibers, sugars and proteins. It also lists the amount of vitamins, minerals and additives to the products and provides the “Daily Value” of how much the specific food product contributes to the daily value based on a 2000 calorie a day diet. This additional information brought forth and generated discussions in households around the country and heightened awareness of that of which our purchased food actually consists.
This led to an increase in home gardening (horticulture), with many households looking for foods that are organic (food that is grown without the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and are intended to be free of feed additives), Organic food is also regulated by federal legislature to be free of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs thusly increasing the need and desire of many US households to grow their own foods.
A new study reveals that out of nearly 164 million homeowners in the United States, nearly half (49%) have gardened in the past 12 months. Gardening homeowners are also 26% more likely to buy locally grown food.
Growing our own sustainable foods also contributes and leads to other health benefits that are indirectly related to gardening. Some of these facts are:
- An investment of $70 per year can yield up to $530 worth of produce and savings to your grocery budget
- Vegetables gardeners can increase your homes value by up to 11% of their current market value for the area they live in.
- Urban gardeners benefit by “communal gardens, rooftop gardens and indoor gardening which can be shared amongst neighbors and community members
- Properly planted trees around your home can actually save your home energy bill. Shade trees can assist in reducing the amount of air conditioning costs and can shield against the wind, reducing your energy costs by 10%
- There are several health benefits from gardening as well. The physical activity from gardening can burn 200 to 300 calories per hour. If you spend 1 hour per day, 5 days of the week, you can burn up to 1250 calories per week.
- The act of gardening can give you a sense of fulfillment to our own respective human needs across the four existential states of being, doing, having and interacting.
It is increasingly becoming essential to increase our awareness and educate ourselves around food sovereignty in Moorish-American households across our respective republics. In the name of Allah, the Holy Quran, Surah Al-Anaam 6, ayat141, via Prophet Muhammad (sa’ alahaialayhiwa-salam) teaches us the following :
“And he it is who causes gardens to grow, both trellised and untrellised, palm trees and crops, different kinds of food and olives and pomegranates, alike and unlike. Eat of each of its fruits when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, he does not like those who commit excess.”
It is written in the Holy Bible, New International Version in the Book of Genesis, Verse 1:29 the following :
“Then God said, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. Thy will be yours for food.”
It is written in Chapter 38, v. 1 in the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America the following :
“The blessing, O man, of thy external part is health, vigor and proportion. The greatest of these is health. What health is to the body even that is honesty to the soul”.
Upon what is taught in our various texts through our Holy Prophets, it is imperative that we begin to learn to grow and sustain our own foods. We must take heed to the warnings that Mother Earth is giving us through the warming of our planet, the significant climate changes that we are presently experiencing, harnessing our own understandings about food sovereignty, understanding the importance of growing and making or own natural herbs, teas, home remedies, and increasing our knowledge of holistic approaches to man-made diseases that are affecting our communities on a daily basis. We must begin the process of teaching our children so that future generations of Moorish-Americans can instruct their children on the importance of food sovereignty, thereby separating ourselves and, soon come,making our familiesindependent in determining our food sources and supply, current and future.
In the coming months, we welcome you to this Web Log (Blog). We will share on a monthly basis, tips, tricks, techniques, photos, pictures, planting schedules, food planting zone maps, natural remedies for insects, pests and wildlife, seed sharing forums and websites, terminology and definitions and answer any questions that one may have about home horticulture. We welcome and encourage your input, suggestions and ideas of what you would like to read about in this web log in hopes of developing and furthering our understandings regarding food, hand and heart.
Humbly Yours In Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice,
 According to the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance
 Inspection Guides, Nutritional Labeling and Education Act
 Elements Lawn Care, 15 Gardening Facts and Statistics that will blow your mind
 Online Holy Quran, Surah Al-An’am 6
 Online Holy Bible, New International Version
 Written in the HKMSTA, personal copy
Chapter 38, verse 1