22 | Abide - Cessilye R. Smith

Abide was born from a simple idea, a birth center in the hood. South Dallas has the highest infant mortality, maternal mortality, low birth weight, and preterm birth statistics. While they are centered in the South Dallas community, Abide serves women from all over Dallas with doula support, midwifery care, childbirth education, and material resources. Their focus being women and families of color.

Bethany Stricker, Co-founder of Abide supporting a client during a prenatal appointment. Photo Courtesy of Lane B. Photography.

Bethany Stricker, Co-founder of Abide supporting a client during a prenatal appointment. Photo Courtesy of Lane B. Photography.

Bethany supporting a birth alongside birth assistant and student midwife Mozeke. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Cabrera    (@rebornfromwithin   ).

Bethany supporting a birth alongside birth assistant and student midwife Mozeke. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Cabrera (@rebornfromwithin).

Mozeke and Bethany measuring newborns weight. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Cabrera    (@rebornfromwithin)   .

Mozeke and Bethany measuring newborns weight. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Cabrera (@rebornfromwithin).

Mozeke and Bethany measuring newborns head circumference. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Cabrera    (@rebornfromwithin).

Mozeke and Bethany measuring newborns head circumference. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Cabrera (@rebornfromwithin).

What sets Abide apart from other facilities in their area is their focus of care centered in culture humility and addressing systematic racism. All those who volunteer, work or have any contact with families through Abide will find that culture humility/competence and implicit bias is embedded in their training — ensuring that care is easily accessible, holistic, evidence-based and free from judgment. Beyond these facets, co-founders Cessilye and Bethany are the foundation of upholding these standards, requiring each other and their community to have uncomfortable conversations to make the change.

A gem that Cessilye left us to sit with, think on, and process is that "As long as whiteness is the standard, black women will continue to die." Listening to this episode, you can feel the power in the mission of Abide and know that the work they are doing is shifting that narrative for their community!

If you are in the Dallas area or want to support their work click the link, Abide. To learn more about Cessilye and Bethany you can connect with them via their social media pages , @cessilyersmith and @bethanystrickermidwifery.

Resources:

West Sound Birth Services - Laura Kuhs | midwifery and massage support

Jennie Joseph | British trained midwife, founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. and the creator of The JJ Way

The JJ Way | a patient-centered model of care 

Perinatal Task Force | a program component of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. 

Cessiyle R. Smith, Co-founder of Abide. Photo courtesy of Desire Chapman Photography.

Cessiyle R. Smith, Co-founder of Abide. Photo courtesy of Desire Chapman Photography.