Basmah Karriem

UBBC Full Circle Doula Trainer

Basmah Karriem is the Grand Doula for the United Black Birth Collective. She understands the importance of sisterhood therefore she became united with the women of UBBC. She is the matriarch and is one of the founding members and she is also an executive board member.

 

Ms. Karriem is certified through Shafia Monroe Doula Training Organization, which qualifies her to serve women during prenatal to postpartum care and there she became an SMC Full Circle Doula Trainer. She confronts the disparities among the races and speaks on why it is important for a mother to be supported during the childbirth process. She recognizes that the woman has authority of herself and should be heard regarding her needs and wants in a justifiable manner.

Ms. Karriem is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding supporter and has helped mothers to achieve positive birth outcomes. She is also a Maternal Child Specialist who can be seen educating, supporting and providing doula care in communities with infant/maternal health disparities, not to mention her expertise on mothering the mother. She understands the importance of Reproductive Justice being the core that allows her to effectively communicate the rights of both the mother and child. Enthusiastically and tirelessly, she has worked in the community supporting and helping women to understand their empowerment through birth for over 35 years.

Along with her continuous training, she is consistently at the forefront of some of the most ignored issues such as infant mortality, maternal mortality, and their causes, such as preterm birth and low birth weight. She is intensely conscious of these disparities which have shown to produce a devastating effect among Black people. Ms. Karriem collaborates with the organization, Mommies, Babies, Bellies and Daddies and from this collective; a village was created to provide the mothers with breastfeeding support as well as comfort. The participating mothers are nurtured, guided, and supported along with becoming familiarized with the natural process of breastfeeding. These women are thus empowered through education and the necessary resources to successfully breastfeed their child, whether they are a newborn or toddler. Additionally, Ms. Karriem assists the mothers individually, which allows each of them to experience an optimal birth with compassion and confidence. This is necessary because the mother will then in turn pass this wonderful experience on to her children, which is vital in the rebuilding of our communities.


She believes this is the kind of education that is necessary for the enablement of birthing mothers, which again promotes a strong and vibrant community. Facilities such as hospitals, diverse clinics, birthing centers and homes are where she provides services for mothers, including teenagers and at-risk women who desire a Vaginal Birth after Caesarean Section (VBAC). Ms. Karriem has also established a working relationship with mothers who have in the past experienced various personal problems, including but not limited to alcohol and substance abuse. This Is Your Birth is a company founded and developed by her and she is zealously committed to providing the many aforementioned services. Basmah or “Umme”, as she is affectionately called, encourages the interaction and participation of the father during childbirth which is important to the family dynamic. She is recognized as a Community Grand Doula (birth care provider),) and has served on the Mayor’s Breastfeeding Commission as well as participated with mothers through programs such as the Elizabeth Project, Resource Mothers and Richmond Behavioral Health. She received the 2008 Richmond Healthy Start Appreciation for reducing the city of Richmond’s Infant Mortality Rate and the Gladys Milton Award for outstanding leadership in reducing infant mortality and building leadership in the State of Virginia. She is now undergoing the course to become a future midwife. She is excited to restore and maintain the Black/Afro American man and woman through culture and tradition which defines who we are. Importantly enough, she continues the legacy of the grand midwives who we honor and appreciate. These women helped many women to bring life into this world. Basmah Karriem will continue to be a part of the illuminating cultural legacy.

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