Like a hilarious fertility conversation with your feisty friend who doesn’t give a f*ck. We go forward on fertility journey. Brave stories, hot topics, and #truthbombs that will either balm your soul or light fire to your rage.
This week Bianca chats with Regina Townsend from The Broken Brown Egg about the many underrepresented facets of in/fertility , fertility journey and the profound impact that this journey of self discovery has in so many aspects on a persons’ life. Regina also discusses etiquette and the power of words for promoting a kinder humanity.
Click here for the transcript!
Check out the full podcast episode here.
This week featuring:
Bianca Sprague feels especially passionate about creating access to quality pre & postnatal care for marginalized communities. She is an advocate for mental wellness for the entire family, and especially for the birthing parent, after suffering from PPD in silence and losing her father to suicide in 2012. She recognizes the barriers put in place for female entrepreneurs and believes that understanding the evolving online space can even the playing field for women in business.
Regina Townsend is an advocate, public speaker, and librarian who uses the intersection of these passions to help others feel seen, heard, and empowered by bringing light to the issues affecting marginalized groups.
Hot + Brave The Blog-Cast:
Regina fertility journey
This week Bianca was joined by Regina Townsend from the Broken Brown Egg to talk about the realities of (in)fertility and what we can all do to be kinder to each other as we go forward on our own journeys. Regina shares her fertility journey and the struggles she experienced as a change-maker who does not want other women to have to experience the same loneliness and isolation in her trying to fertility journey.
Medical advice without a proper diagnosis
The ways in which people engage with the health-care system can be influenced by so many external factors. As discussed in previous episodes of the Hot + Brave Podcast, so many doctors use practice-based care while evidence that may actually help us. So many of us with internal sex organs are given medical advice without a proper diagnosis or, in many cases, without even testing for certain issues. This is also the case with menstruation and fertility.
Excessive bleeding, immense cramping and intolerable pain cannot be the “norm” for those who get their period. As Regina states, “the idea that you’re supposed to suffer,” is unacceptable. On top of this, the most common prescription for dealing with painful periods is the birth control pill. If you are struggling in your trying to conceive journey, and at the same time, your doctor is recommending birth control, where do we go from here?
Finding community in the fertility space
In seeking out (in)fertility support and community, Regina points out the major gaps in resources for those BIPOC folks and those who are under-resourced. In addition, harmful stereotypes, rooted in a history of racism and enslavement that hyper-sexualize black women and girls make finding community in the fertility space even more difficult. As such, black women are often left fighting their own personal battle simultaneous to challenging the narrative of hyper-sexualization and hyper-fertility so deeply rooted in the history where black women’s bodies were bought and sold for their reproductive labour.
Journey in trying to conceive
These stereotypes and narratives are not historical artifacts or “ways of thinking” that need to be changed, but have real-life consequences and continue to impact resources related to conception. More quality access to care, health literacy, and physicians who are culturally competent are needed to help women on their own journeys in trying to conceive. Regina’s biggest piece of advice is that this journey is “bigger than babies”; its also about quality of life and taking care of yourself as you navigate through, what can be a very difficult experience.
Educate on infertility
Sometimes, we have to choose ourselves and put ourselves first in situations that may trigger us or make us deeply uncomfortable. There is no blueprint to follow to ensure you are always protecting your heart. Triggers may come in the places wee least expect them. Further, some people may provoke a completely different response than others. In some instances we may have the capacity to educate on infertility.
For example, Regina shares some phrases she uses when faced exercise poor etiquette when it comes to asking about birth and babies. One might feel more comfortable going straight ahead and saying “It makes me very uncomfortable when you ask that” or “it’s unkind to ask that question”. Different situations may call for different solutions, but at the end of the day the goal is to protect your well-being
Not making assumptions
It is also important for all of us, regardless of where we may be in our lives to be kind to those on their fertility journeys. Asking invasive questions, making assumptions about what others want, or making comments such as “you can have my bad kid” or “at least you can sleep in” are not warranted and usually, not as ‘funny’ or ‘light-hearted’ as one might think. Regina, in her advocacy, shares “you get through infertility, you don’t get over it”.
Considering this, there is a big difference in asking an innocent question out of curiosity, while being willing to hold space for those we care about, and being reckless in our assumptions and causing harm.
What else is going on at bebo mia?
Become Fertility Specialist!
If you’ve been considering adding Fertility Specialist to your offerings, now is an excellent time to register in our Fertility Support Specialist course!
This one-of-a-kind course is designed to provide birth workers (aka doulas) and other wellness professionals a deeper understanding of the (in)fertility journey.
Go to fertility support specialist program for more info or to register!
New Year, New Career!
We know that taking the leap into a new career path can be daunting which is why we created a *free* workshop just for you. This workshop is designed to show you what’s possible and to pave the way – with education, support and guidance – for your path to becoming a birth worker.
This workshop is entirely free, will be full of helpful information and FUN (hint: there will be prizes, y’all) so click the link https://bebomia.com/babieswebinar/, mark your calendar and get ready for a good time! We are super excited to see you there!
Support a great cause!
The Ember Blueprint is raising funds for tuition for women in trades as well as stipends for students to provide care to under-resourced families. With over one thousand applicants in the last 5 years, it is clear that access to tuition is a barrier for women entering the trades.
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