I started my journey as a birth worker at the young age of 12 years old. I was in 8th grade and had two very close friends of mine become pregnant. It didn't make sense to me how they didn't have much support from their family due to shame and negligence. I knew I had to be the one friend who still loved them and supported them in any decision they made. Educating my friends and offering emotional, spiritual, and cultural support was important to me especially since I had a similar experience when I was "becoming a young wombman."
Getting my period for the first time made me passionate about learning about human biology and physiology and I couldn't keep the information to myself. I was going to celebrate every phase that made me a wombman.
By the age of 19 I began training as a Doula after I learned what it was from a documentary I watched. I figured it would be my start to one day becoming a Midwife.
In 2015, I decided to create a mobile app, IbiOp inc. Birth Options & Beyond, an app that allows wombmen to find melanated Midwives, Doulas, Breastfeeding specialist, and other birth and lightworkers that may be necessary to hire during their birth and motherhood journey. Without funding for this app we have not been able to host it and update it to its best of its ability however we continued to collect data and information of birthworkers all over the world that wombman can get access to from the tap of their phone.
IbiOp the app was one of the creations I saw as a solution for beating things like the issues surrounding racial discrimination in the maternal health industry. With this app now, mothers and wombman seeking healthcare can choose their own providers and supporters.
A few years leading up to my children's birth, I began to host solution-based programs in my own underserved community of Brooklyn East New York with classes and events such as New Parent support groups, Childbirth Education Classes, Community Baby shower, Intuitive Doula Training, YtheGirls Hang Out empowerment group, Sex Education: Connecting the Mind, Body & Soul and Yin Yoga.
We even got the chance to hire teens through our partnership with NYC's SYEP Summer Youth Employment Program.
By 2019, I became pregnant as a single mother with twins. I needed all the support I could get to be able to afford my midwives and prepare for childbirth. After I gave birth to my children I was rushed to the ICU because I went into shock upon realizing my daughter was born unresponsive 12 hours after my sun was born completely healthy. She was taken to a children's hospital and I was sent to a different one.
I was immediately racially discriminated against because of my choices to give birth at home during Covid-19 after I realized I was completely healthy and there were no red flags during my entire labor. My daughter died 36 days after she was born. And I was thrown into a world of law and indigenous rights as a newly single mother understanding clearly that I needed to have all of my affairs in order so that I can protect my family. This led me to realize how many birth workers and community members need training in state laws and constitutional rights.
What your donation will help us accomplish: Intuitive Doula Training Programs, Funding Black Midwives Education, Melanated Birth Worker Retreats, Birth & Basic Medical Supplies
How we wish to give back to the community As Soon as Possible: Emergency Medicine training, Knowing your Humans rights in Childbirth Training, Neonatal Resuscitation Training, Basic First Aid/CPR/BLS training for underserved and underprivileged communities.
Our long-term goals are to continue to provide more communities with preventative education programs which can be facilitated even virtually. Training community members in Trauma EMS training and childbirth preparedness allows us to create a sense of security and advancement in our communities.
We hope to be able to hire administrative support in order to respond to the many inquiries we get from all over the country and even Canada from wombman who are seeking birth support from melanated wombman through IbiOp our app and our website.
Your support will also allow us to create the Dessaline Yaslene Midwifery Fund and open our wellness center. As I carried my daughter and sun in utero for almost 10 months I knew that I was going to give birth to my daughter a midwife but indeed she birthed me and my grand purpose in this birth work industry.
I thank anyone and everyone who supports me and joins me on this mission.