Birth Queen is Tackling the Black Maternal Health Crisis Get to know founder, Rachel Nicks.

By Rachel Nicks | Photo by Stocksy

For as long as I can remember I dreamt of becoming a mother. Today, all of my Black friends from their 20’s to 40’s are questioning motherhood because they are afraid they will die. As you may know, there is a Black maternal health crisis in this country. Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die in childbirth, 12 times more likely to die in New York City, and Black babies are twice as likely not to make it to their first birthday. Our sisters are not broken, the system is broken.

Growing up in Oakland, CA I was surrounded by strong mothers who birthed beautiful, intelligent, healthy babies and it was my belief I would do the same. Fast forward to 2021 and I am thrilled to share that I am a mother to two healthy sons. I chose to birth in a hospital setting with the support of a midwife, doula, and my loving husband. I was educated, supported and empowered. I have had two beautiful breastfeeding journeys. I breastfed my first son for 19 months and am currently breastfeeding my six month old son. 

Last summer I couldn’t sleep. The anxiety of another restless night beget more anxiety. I remember myself and others blaming my sleepless nights on my unborn child. One afternoon it hit me – I was up at night from my paralyzing fear of bringing another beautiful black son into this racist world, knowing that everyone in this country would not value his humanity and that I could even lose him. I was blessed to survive my births and thrive, but everyday for the rest of my life I’ll worry if my father, brother, and sons will make it home alive. 

After having Baldwin six months ago, I decided to have one more baby – a nonprofit organization I founded Birth Queen to combat the Black maternal health crisis. Birth Queen educates, supports and empowers Black women, parents and birthing people, enriching the Black birth experience and saving lives. Our inclusive, Black-owned and operated organization funds trainings for doulas, midwives, and lactation consultants.

Our sisters are not broken, the system is broken.

Birth Queen is the vessel. We bring awareness to the Black maternal health crisis. The money we raise will go to organizations we trust that are doing amazing work to educate and empower Black birthing professionals and train birth workers. Studies show that when Black mothers are educated, supported, surrounded with birth workers who look like them they are empowered to have beautiful and empowered birth experiences. As a result, mom and baby begin a healthy, happy, and fruitful journey together.

My dream is that you join the Birth Queen family and grow with us as we reconnect to joy, beauty, and abundance and together we will  save and nurture the lives of deserving mothers and babies. Please follow @birthqueenorg and visit our site www.BirthQueen.org