Come to the Well 

Episode 8: 

November is National Prematurity Awareness Month. Join us at The Well for a heartfelt and eye-opening conversation with “Once Upon a Preemie” founder, author, advocate, and micro-preemie mom, Jennè Johns, MPH. To connect with Mrs. Johns, feel free to contact her at: hi@onceuponapreemie.com.

“Once Upon a Preemie” is a beautiful new way to look at the life of a preemie baby. It explores the parent and child Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) journey in a unique and uplifting way. To learn more about the “Once Upon a Preemie” book, its dynamic author, its impact on NICU families, and services, please visit: onceuponapreemie.com/#.

Serving as a learning tool, Once Upon a Preemie Academy is the first and only virtual training academy focused on delivering health and racial equity educational programs for perinatal and neonatal healthcare professionals, with a purpose of raising awareness and offering real-time solutions for addressing health and racial equity. For more information about courses and how to register for an upcoming live training, please visit: www.onceuponapreemieacademy.com/trainings.

The Alliance for Black NICU Families™ is a resource that’s advocating for real equitable change in the NICU and beyond for Black families, through policy changes and family assistance grants. To get more info, please visit: www.blacknicufamilies.org/.

Baltimore Healthy Start is dedicated to serving women, children, and families in the city of Baltimore, and knows that healthy babies start with healthy communities. To learn more about services, programs, and resources at BHS, visit us at: baltimorehealthystart.org/.

Episode 7: 

October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. Join us at The Well for a candid and powerful conversation with “Sisters in Loss” founder, Erica McAfee.

**This episode is dedicated to the women and families who have experienced loss, and to their angel babies.**

“Sisters in Loss” is a community of Black women who are replacing silence with storytelling around pregnancy and infant loss and infertility. For more information about services and resources, please visit: sistersinloss.com/.

Baltimore Healthy Start is dedicated to serving women, children, and families in the city of Baltimore, and strives to see healthy pregnancies and babies reach their first birthday and beyond. To learn more about services, programs, and resources at BHS, visit us at: baltimorehealthystart.org/.

Episode 6: 

Joining us at The Well for Infant Mortality Awareness Month (September) is renowned maternal and child health scholar, educator, activist, and social scientist, Dr. Fleda Mask Jackson. During this episode, we discuss what infant mortality is, the factors (past and present) that influence maternal and infant health outcomes, and what can be done to move the needle beyond parity.


To learn more about Dr. Fleda Mask Jackson and her work, visit her website at- https://drfledamjackson.com/biography.

Some scholarly articles and links that cover the subject matter discussed in this episode are as follows:
1. Anticipated Negative Police-Youth Encounters and Depressive Symptoms among Pregnant African American Women: A Brief Report (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5391334/)
2. The weathering hypothesis and the health of African-American women and infants: evidence and speculations (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1467758/)
3. Stressed or stressed out: What is the difference? (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1197275/)
4. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)- https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/index.htm

Want to learn more about Baltimore Healthy Start’s prenatal and birthing support program, Belly Buddies™? Visit us at: https://baltimorehealthystart.org/programs/pregnancy-wellness/ for more information!

Episode 5: 

The month of August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month! But did you know that every year, from August 25th to 31st, is Black Breastfeeding Week? Yup! Black Breastfeeding Week was created in 2013 by Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka, Kimberley Seals Allers and Kiddada Green, and the theme for 2021 is “The Big Pause: Collective Rest for Collective Power!”

During this special episode of “Come to the Well”, join BHS staff as we host a virtual Chocolate Milk Bar for breastfeeding moms. Storytelling, education, and sisterhood abound as we chat candidly about our experiences and remind everyone that we breastfed this nation! Special guests include: Tannyka Coleman, IBCLC, Marilyn Berchie, CRNP, and local mamas (to protect their privacy, the mothers’ names were not used or mentioned during this episode).


If you reside in the DMV area, and are looking for breastfeeding resources (i.e. baby-friendly hospital locations, classes, support groups, printable guides, etc.), make sure to check out the DC Breastfeeding Coalition, Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition, and Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition. Also, don’t forget about your local WIC offices!

If you are pregnant or postpartum (or know someone who is!), and looking for Black birth workers such as midwives, doulas, and lactation consultants in your area, check out the Sista Midwife Productions directory at: www.sistamidwifedirectory.com/.

To find out more info about Baltimore Healthy Start’s programs and services, such as breastfeeding support and Belly Buddies™ , visit: baltimorehealthystart.org/.

Episode 4: 

The month of July is Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month, and just like the summertime- fibroids are a hot topic that isn’t discussed nearly enough. Dr. L. Latey Bradford, Chief Resident of Family Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center, joins BHS at the well for a deep dive into uterine fibroids… what they are, how they can affect women’s health, treatment options, and the impact they have on Black maternal health- physically, emotionally, and socially.


You can find Dr. L. Latey Bradford on LinkedIn and Twitter: @DrLLateySpeaks. Got a question for Dr. Bradford? Feel free to email her at: llatey.bradford@umm.edu

Queens Court is a postpartum education and support group housed within the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. To learn more about this program, click here

The work of Dr. Erica Marsh was mentioned during this episode. To learn more about Dr. Marsh, and her research on uterine fibroids and reproductive health disparities, visit her University of Michigan Health profile page: here

Learn more about Baltimore Healthy Start (BHS) by visiting: www.baltimorehealthystart.org.

Episode 3: 

Summertime is here, and we’re keeping you cool and refreshed at the well! It’s June, and we’re celebrating fathers everywhere. BHS Fatherhood Engagement Specialist, Derek Lewis, is joined by a panel of dads- including Baltimore City Council President, Nick Mosby, and Baltimore Healthy Start board member, Terrance Lindsey- for a candid discussion about manhood, healthy relationships, and raising children with fatherly love. Join us as we gather by the well and listen to the stories, experiences, joys, and lessons our guests have to share.

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 20, 2021. Let’s all show the dads and special men in our lives how much they are appreciated, valued, and loved!

To learn more about Baltimore Healthy Start programs, please visit: Fatherhood Engagement

Episode 2: 

Anna Malaika-Tubbs, author of “The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation”, joins BHS at the well to chat about her personal experiences with motherhood, and how we can incorporate more joy, creativity, and revolution in raising our children.

You can find our guest, Anna, on Instagram (@annastea_honesty), Twitter (@annas_tea_), and on her website: https://annamalaikatubbs.com/.

“The Three Mothers” is available for purchase wherever books are sold. So, be sure to grab a copy for yourself, or someone special, and support your favorite local or online indie bookstore! If you’re in the DMV, here are some Black-owned bookstores to check out:

Mahogany Books: https://www.mahoganybooks.com/
Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe: https://www.events.sankofa.com/
Loyalty Bookstore: https://www.loyaltybookstores.com/
Everyone’s Place African Cultural Center (Google for contact info)

Learn more about Baltimore Healthy Start (BHS) by visiting: www.baltimorehealthystart.org.

Episode 1: 

It’s Black Maternal Health Week 2021 and the inaugural episode of the “Come to the Well” podcast! BHS Deputy Director, Maxine Reed-Vance, chats with National Birth Equity Collaborative founder, Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, about their work in maternal and child health, current events and developments around Black maternal health, and how we can fill in the maternity care gaps within our own communities.

**Here are some key episode mentions and resources**

1. The White House Roundtable on Black Maternal Health, hosted by VP Kamala Harris

2. Merck for Mothers Safer Childbirth Cities Initiative

3. Maryland Maternal Health Innovation Program (MDMOM)

4. The fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by Minnesota police officer, Kim Potter. Donations to The Daunte Wright Sr. Memorial Fund can be made via GoFundMe

You can find our guest, Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, on social media at: @doccrearperry (Instagram), @birthequity (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), and www.birthequity.org.

Learn more about Baltimore Healthy Start (BHS) by visiting: www.baltimorehealthystart.org.