In the last year, community doula Jasmin Danae has been featured in the June 2022 issues of both Shout Out Arizona and Canvas Rebel , and the October 2021 issue of Voyage Phoenix. Each feature highlights the work of The Total Mothering Chronicles, "proudly located in Mesa, Arizona."
"#TheTotalMotheringChronicles is a collective inspired by black doulas—crafted with all families in mind. We are delighted to offer Reproductive Health and Wellness Services as well as a beautiful lineup of products. This development of birth work and family support by community design promotes healthy lifestyle changes for longevity."
From the interview with Danae: "Holding mothers and supporting these families makes a huge difference in their daily lives—confident mothers encourage confidence in their children and inspire them to plan and dream limitlessly. TTMC serves as a gentle reminder that the individual has worked hard, come far, and has made it through so many moments of not feeling good enough."
Originally from Staten Island, NY, Danae explains that "the curation of TTMC began many years ago" as she has always worked in community and public health; but it was officially formed in 2018. The website has a store and a portal to contact TTMC, as well as her "Mom blog" detailing the work they do with an emphasis education. Here is their Instagram.
You may be asking, what is a doula? Danae explains, a doula is a "Care expert who partners with expecting individuals and families, to provide emotional, physical and educational support[… with], special care to ensure you are clear on what to expect before, during, and after the birthing, postpartum, or life experience." When asked about her mentors, Danae emphasized, "my mentors have been my family. The women in my family have all been caregivers by profession or by love in life. I've learned a lot from the women who have cared for me."
Danae also works with the Healthy Start program as part of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health where, along with 8 other doulas, she works to increase breastfeeding rates and natural birthing options toward the goal of reducing the high maternal mortality rate for Black and brown babies. Healthy Start insists that "your baby's health should not be determined by zip code." These amazing community doulas also volunteer at Estrella Jail, one of the jails in Maricopa county, to provide education and maternal counselling.
Finally, Danae is also connected with Sista Midwife Productions (SMP), "a birth advocacy organization based in New Orleans, LA. We provide education, training and consultations for communities, birth workers and organizations that work with child bearing families." For the last ten years SMP has been connecting mothers with doulas and midwives, creating this national network directory. You can also check out Doula Match here.
If you are interested in a documentary about mothers, midwives, and doulas, check out Catching Babiesby director and producer Barni Axmed Qaasim:"Filmed along the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, Catching Babies follows four young women as they study midwifery at Maternidad La Luz. As the women juggle their rigorous academic struggles, they must also provide quality health care to mothers and babies. Watch the sister-midwives as they live and learn in this trans-formative space, which gives birth to babies, mothers, and midwives. Catching Babies is an intimate story of how women change the world by changing the way babies are born."
Check out these 25 recommendations for further readings, including Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty, by Dorothy Roberts; Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement, by Jennifer Nelson; Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing, by Patrisia Gonzalez; and Alana Apfel's Birth Work as Care Work: Stories from Activist Birth Communities.