Our mission at Mama Sana Vibrant Woman (MSVW) is to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes for communities of color in Central Texas by providing education and support. Through our Pregnancy and Birth Circles, Postpartum groups, and Birth Companion training program we facilitate access to culturally appropriate, quality, prenatal and postnatal care for people of color, specifically low-income African-American and Latina women, in Austin/Travis County. We are working towards a just and loving world where all parents receive, attentive, quality, loving care.
Travis County continues to be characterized by stark disparities between racial groups in reproductive health as well as quality of life. The mortality rates among African-American and Latino infants are higher than the average for the state of Texas and in the U.S. as a whole. Austin is the fastest growing metropolitan area in the US with the most rapidly declining black population. As black families are priced out of Austin, the conditions worsen for those that stay affecting birthing people disproportionately. Institutional barriers, including systemic racism, result in experiences of social isolation and negative health outcomes among African- American mothers and infants.
Through our launching of the Pregnancy and Birth Circles (PBC) Program, MSVW has developed a program that provides care to the most vulnerable in our community, while training the next generation of midwives and birth workers of color in Texas. MSVW approaches midwifery, pregnancy and birth as existing within the context of a larger family and community. We believe that the care provided by midwives and birth companions should be based upon mutual respect, open communication, autonomy and empowerment of the woman and her family; instead of providing care to women, we provide care with women. We prioritize and support midwives and birth companions of color within our programs. MSVW approaches midwifery, pregnancy and birth as existing within the context of a larger family and community. Our practice of midwifery includes cultural reflectiveness which for Black and Latinas exists within the context of basic human rights and the ancestral rites of life and birth.