Indigenous Women’s Health

TWU’s Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice Program

Manager: Jessica Riggs 505-747-3259 x1206 jessica@tewawomenunited.org

Staff Doula: Diana Halsey 505-747-3259 x1206 diana@tewawomenunited.org

TWU’s Indigenous Women’s Health and Justice Program encourages Pueblo women to become active participants in their healthcare through all stages of life and aims to revitalize and access traditional indigenous knowledge and practice in women’s health.

As a Native Woman led community based organization, TWU is directly involved in addressing the challenges of reproductive health and justice for Indigenous women. We believe that every woman has the right to a birthing experience that promotes autonomy, dignity, respect and empowerment for mother, child, and family. Through our Yiya Vi Kagingdi (YVK) Doula Project, we work to increase choices in the birthing experience for the low income women of color in Northern New Mexico. Our YVK project is part of grassroots organizing and movement building work for reproductive health and birthing justice to reclaim the sacredness of the birth process and the power of choice around how, when and where birth will happen. We also see this empowerment as a fundamental strategy in achieving our goal of building Beloved Families and Communities where women, girls, and Mother Earth are honored and protected. We define and apply principles of midwifery in accordance with our Tewa traditions that honor birth as a community process and acknowledge the interconnections between the earth, individual, family and community, and our Tewa values of:
A’Gin tuu (Respectful caring of self and others in all relations)
Nan Ochuu Qweeyo (Mother Earth, living Tewa wombfulness)
Seegi ma vay I (Loving, caring, looking out for each other)

By providing unique resources for support, choice, connection, and access to information and resources about childbearing, breastfeeding, and parenting, we are providing opportunities for positive family experiences and decision making during childbirth and early childhood for women who often experience cultural and socio-economic barriers to reproductive health and wellbeing. Too many of our women do not have positive role models for how to transition successfully into motherhood, and are learning for the first time about breastfeeding support, healthy baby care, parenting and strategies for coping with the challenges of the post-partum period. Our YVK Doula Project part of our overall effort to heal past traumas and integrate mind, body and spirit to create Beloved Families and Communities. We take very seriously the importance of providing opportunities for women to heal from past trauma, connect with their bodies, and access their own senses of power, for it is in these ways that our family generations and communities will grow stronger.

 

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