This month's spotlight is none other than Joi Barnett, student midwife, family-oriented mother, and so much more. She is a champion of health and wellness for fellow moms and our tiniest citizens, even before they arrive! We celebrate Joi this month to honor black birth workers, mothers, families, and communities working to improve black maternal and infant health disparities.
We really love the name of your business, Birth Your Joi! Tell us more about your journey as a birth worker and how you chose the name.
Thank you! My journey as a birth worker really began when I became pregnant the first time at 17. My babies are the reason I am a birth worker without a doubt. I experienced an avoidable postpartum hemorrhage after my third baby and that was a major turning point for me actually getting involved in birth work.
Birth Your Joi was born out of the unfortunate stress and strife that often comes with being a black woman and pregnant in America. My ultimate goal is to provide greater access to competent, holistic, and dignified maternity care to women, specifically to black women. Have you seen our mortality rates? When we think about our agency and birth experience I want the umbrella over the experience to be joy whenever possible.
You already trained as a doula. Why did you decide to become a midwife?
I did work as a doula, but I ended up deciding not to certify. I decided to become a midwife first because I felt a call to the service. I knew that there was more that I was/am supposed to do that's outside the scope of doula. Also, because there is a great need for women of color to have primary care providers of color in every discipline.
Can you share one birth story highlight from this year so far?
I am such a fan of birth. It's beautiful and sacred, but if I had to pick one it would be the Dad we had a few months ago who was surprised with his first boy. The couple had four girls and were kind of settled on that being their pattern. There was a mess of joyful surprised tears. It was great!
To learn more about Joi, check out her facebook page Birth Your Joi!