The two main things I want to do here is to firstly acknowledge my white privilege and how that has and is assisting in my parenting endeavours – which is this article. Secondly, I found a parallel between my early parenting attitudes and attitudes I see when white privilege is raised (find here).
Before I start, I want to acknowledge that as a white person I can only speak on white privilege (as in, it is not my place to speak on Black issues). I own my experiences, attitudes and behaviours. Including any and all racist ones. As well as the micro and/or macro agressions. It is my responsibility to educate myself, and do better. I have no knowledge of life as a POC but I hear and value their voices and perspectives.
8 Ways my White Privilege has served me in my early parenting journey so far…
- Advertisements and products selling family planning services and items such as information books and workshops, pregnancy / ovulation / sperm tests, birthing options etc display people that look like me (are predominately white).
- Key care providers, at every single stage of preconception to conception to prenatal care to birthing to postnatal care looked like me. And they sounded like me.
- Information was available in a language and dialect that I was fluent in, and have spoken since birth. Information was available that took into account my world view and perspective on life and birth and such
- I am affluent. I had birthing and care options. I planned a birth that included financial investment – that I am more likely to have access to, as a white person. Also my affluence ensured I have access to a healthier lifestyle, as well as wonderful pre and post natal care. I could afford vitamins, supplements and therapies to reduce stress. Pregnancy is hard, and my affluence made it emotionally, physically and mentally less taxing.
- I was assumed to be an educated, intelligent woman in a meaningful relationship, making a valid life choice to have a child.
- My challenges to the hospital policies and protocols were accommodated. That’s a big deal.
- During any of my postnatal freak-outs or breakdowns (and there’s been a decent few), I sought help. I knew of agencies to help. I knew of services to keep searching for, in order to get help. Despite my emotional / mental state – although being concerning at times for both me and the professionals working with me – I never had a fear that my child would be taken away from me. It was seen as a tough time, and I needed resources and help.
- I didn’t die during childbirth. My child didn’t die during childbirth (WOC are around 3-4x more likely to die or loose their baby during childbirth source here, here, and here) Read stories about Black mumma’s deaths here, here, here, here, and here [Tragically, there is so many more stories and experiences 😥 Please read some. Awareness matters!]
What other ways can you think of, that white privilege impacted my (or your) pregnancy, birth and early parenting days?