Mars Lord – Birth Confidence Summit

Mars' Bio

Double award winning doula and birth activist Mars Lord has been a birth keeper for well over a decade. After attending the Paramana Doula course with Michel Odent and Lilliana Lammers, a spark was lit within her and the passion that she discovered for birth and supporting parents has fired her soul ever since. She has had the privilege of working with hundreds of families. 

A birth activist, with a desire to see the ‘colouring in of the landscape of birth’ and finding out the reasons for the maternal and neonatal morbidity rates amongst the BAME community, Mars created Abuela Doulas a doula preparation course primarily, but not exclusively, for women of colour. Her desire for reproductive justice led to the creation of the ‘Reproductive Justice Retreat’. Mars was recently recognised in the Mayor of London's Hidden Credits campaign and continues to speak out against cultural safety and reproductive justice.

Facebook -

Twitter: @Abueladoula

Instagram: @Abueladoula

Time Stamps

Abuela – Spanish for Grandmother as Mars loves to bring Grandmother energy in.

4.14  Among the variety of reasons given for the underlying causes of the disproportionate health outcomes is often an assumption that the black body is faulty and the black woman is  stupid. The blaming the black body points to eugenics which says white bodies are superior to black bodies.

Comparing what happened when we discovered that babies born to mothers who smoked were more at risk and an education programme happened and action was taken. Whereas black women are just labelled as faulty.

Looking at reasons why black women access antenatal classes and care later - looking at links to history, including experimenting on female slaves,  eugenics and assumptions to challenge.

 Looking at the suggestion of economics being a factor as black women statistically have less money.

Summary of the message is that black women are dying because they are too black, too stupid and too poor.  This is blaming the victim rather than the system and structure that she has come into.

James Mario Sims ' The father of modern Obstetrics' But who extensively tested on black women without analgesia.

13.49  Drop assumptions and see the human in front of you.

15.30 Looking at what happens when we took our colonial ways and dumped them on developing countries then moved on to kinder methods but look back in horror at what is being done there yet the coloniser started that practice. Plus a look at cultural appropriation of other skills such as baby wearing.

22.51 You may not be the one who set up the system but you are still benefiting from it as it was constructed to benefit white people. WE need to be anti racist not just not racist. Anti racist is active whereas non racist is passive. Get up and call out racism where you see it.

25.07 We know we can do better for all people but watch out for privilege calling out over the voices of black women in spaces where women are gathered to talk about issues facing black women.

Its not pie. We are not wanting to leave you with less.

28.55 Constantly facing daily micro aggressions raises your cortisol levels and you may explode for a minor aggression on the back of many others.

31.00 Look beyond initial defence as a white woman as no-one is accusing you of being a violent racist.

We need to think and look at how differently black women are treated when they wish to home birth or whether they are offered the same length of time to birth in birth centres as white women.

34.00 Historically women's movements have failed black women. The Suffragettes were told to march at the back as this is for all women.

39.44 Watch in spaces where the black woman gets forgotten. #metoo was started by a black woman (Tanana Burke) but this is often forgotten. 

What are our priorities? Notice where most outrage and coverage occurs and what this says about our beliefs.

42.11 Advice to pregnant women: Find your black birth keepers find people who understand and know your stories , the ones who know what it is to be black and birth. Remember the mortality rate is incredibly low 40 in 100000 but for white its 8 so get good information. Find good people to follow and learn from and to listen from. If you are not getting the care and support that you expect from your health care professionals or  if your midwife or doctor are being racist know that you can change them.

44.00 black labelled as aggressive and threaten to take care and support away from you, white women easier to request change easily many don’t know they can do it but when black it’s a whole other ball game say to pregnant black people find out good black birth keepers   reach out to black birthing community and get information and support there who and where you can turn to to give yourself a better understanding of system you are going into lots of us out here. But fe of us given a platform and those who have have to fight to get and keep it in a sea of white experts.

46.30 Vision for the future:  That people be valued, listened to and able to give birth with grace and dignity. As simple as that. Collectively raise up the most vulnerable and then the next most vulnerable until we are all healed.

49.45 If you hear something that makes you uncomfortable file that away and deal with it later, Do not throw it back at the person who just said it.

If we listen then we will heal the world.

Enter your text here...

Charlotte Kanyi