My name is Lena Soo Hee Wood. I started this project because as a Korean-American nurse-midwifery student, I struggled to find other midwives out there who looked like me. I was inspired by Claudia Booker, a Certified Professional Midwife based in Washington, D.C., who recently gathered a collection of photos of Black midwives during African-American History month and shared them on Facebook.
I felt a shiver of inspiration as I scrolled through these photos, knowing that these midwives come from a long tradition of Grand Midwives in the American South.
But I also felt a pang of loneliness as I saw photo after beautiful photo of African-American midwives from around the country.
I couldn’t help thinking, “Where are all the Asian-American midwives?”
Truth be told, I have only met a handful of Asian-American midwives and I’ve certainly never seen a whole group of us together. Despite the fact that Asian-Americans are the fastest growing group in the U.S., we make up only a tiny fraction of the total number of midwives.
I envisioned a website that would celebrate and highlight the diversity of Asian-American midwives who are providing compassionate, full-scope reproductive health care across the country. While midwifery in the U.S. continues to be a largely white, female-dominated profession, there are midwives of color out there. I think it’s important for us to see these midwives. Something powerful happens when we see ourselves reflected in the midwives and other care providers who help care for us.
I hope that this website might inspire more Asian-Americans to consider midwifery as a profession. I hope it sparks exploration of our own cultural traditions and history of being with woman.
Most of all, I hope it will affirm for other midwifery students out there like myself who wonder where the Asian-American midwives are, that you are not alone.
Would you like to be featured on Asian-American Midwives? Submit a profile here.
Please help spread the word!