Today we feature Summer-Lee Faria, a midwifery student from Hawai’i.
What does it mean to you to be an Asian American midwife or midwifery student?
For me, being an Asian American midwifery student means empowering families and communities through health. Being able to culturally identify with intrinsic details of every day life in America as an Asian, I feel helps to lift any feelings of inferiority. Reflecting and supporting any desire others in the community may have to study or become professionals in health care, perpetuates active involvement and loving support in under-served communities.
How did you decide to become a midwife?
After having both my babies at Kapi’olani hospital, while both not medicated and vaginal births, we’re not the experiences I knew I wanted if I had birthed at home. My second birth was most traumatic for me, as they took her away immediately after and kept her from me for a few hours. When I saw the Business of Being Born and realized that what happened to me is happening to millions of women and babies around the world, I decided to act. First by connecting with any birth professionals in Hawai’i I could find and then by helping to bring the Mid-Pacific Conference on Birth and Primal Health Research to Honolulu. After Selena Green, CPM moved from San Francisco and I was encouraged to apprentice under her, so began my journey with Midwifery.
What advice or encouragement would you offer to aspiring midwives, especially midwives of color?
Midwives are not only alternative to OB/Gyn’s at births, we are counselors, dieticians, social workers, psychologists, parent educators and lactation consultants. Empowering ourselves as Asian Americans through becoming midwives, empowers communities, our cities and our world. By taking back our bodily autonomy and lovingly caring for each other, through true understanding and reflection, we can increase peace on earth. It takes only one thought, one belief that you want to do something for the betterment of yourself and your community. Becoming a midwife is the most rewarding way to give back and show that together we are going to make great things happen.