Many parenting and birth resources don’t speak to the experiences of Black parents. Get a curated list of articles, books, videos, and podcasts made specifically with BIPOC parents in mind.
Like so many systems in the United States, pregnancy and parenting resources are typically centered around the experiences of white people. At Cleo, we know race and gender identity significantly impact how birthing people interact with the healthcare system, the resources they have access to, and the unique challenges parents face. Cleo is committed to birth equity, culturally competent care, and inclusive support for all families. These are some of our favorite resources curated by Cleo Guides for BIPOC birthing people.
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What it is: Article from Self magazine with tips for birth planning, finding the best provider and birth location for you, and considerations to keep in mind when choosing your birth options
Why Cleo Guides love it: This article recognizes that the system is broken, but gives Black birthing people practical advice from experts on how to navigate within that system for the best possible outcomes.
What it is: Article originally written for the Cleo app by Dr. Joy Cooper, OBGYN and founder of Culture Care introducing the concept of reproductive justice
Why Cleo Guides love it: Reproductive justice is multifaceted, spans races and genders, and impacts nearly all birthing people in one way or another. This short read is a good introduction to start building your vocabulary around reproductive justice and to understand the different factors at play.
What it is: Book combining storytelling and practical exercises for parents to uplift Black parents and dismantle harmful narratives about the Black family
Why Cleo Guides love it: This book helps parents shift their parenting perspective from one based in fear to one based in liberation, freedom, and joy. It creates a community that amplifies Black girl magic and Black boy joy, helps parents initiate difficult conversations with their children, and fills a critical gap in parenting resources for Black families.
What it is: Article from The New York Times with steps to combat the systemic racism they may experience during pre- and postnatal care
Why Cleo Guides love it: At every step, this guide provides clear advice for both pregnant people and care providers. It arms Black birthing people with the statistics, language, and resources they need to proactively address racism in their care. For care providers, it gives advice for acknowledging the systemic and implicit racism that may impact their patients and how to help their patients feel more confident.
What it is: Article originally written for the Cleo app by Dr. Joy Cooper, OBGYN and founder of Culture Care about the importance of racially-concordant care
Why Cleo Guides love it: Racially-concordant care is proven to improve outcomes for Black birthing people. Cleo partner Dr. Cooper gives a simple introduction that’s a good starting point for patients, care providers, employers, and allies.
What it is: Anthology of personal, activist, and scholarly perspectives on the experiences of birthing while Black
Why Cleo Guides love it: This anthology not only sheds light on the experiences of Black birthing people, but also addresses how the system is failing them. It dives into the origins of inequities, the important role of doulas and midwives, and many varied experiences of Black birthing people.
What it is: Recorded webinar featuring Cleo Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chitra Akileswaran and Cleo Guide and DTI Certified Doula Natasha Sobers
Why Cleo Guides love it: Not only does this webinar feature two women instrumental in shaping Cleo’s ongoing commitment to birth equity, it also frankly addresses the racism Black birthing people face in healthcare. Their discussion gives tangible advice for Black families to navigate the system and seek a safe, dignified birthing experience.
What it is: Article from Self magazine outlining common conditions experienced by Black parents and what to look out for to catch warning signs early
Why Cleo Guides love it: This list uses plain language to explain the health conditions to look for and breaks down potential signs of them without being alarmist. It also advises when birthing people should see their doctor and equips them with the knowledge to advocate for themselves with their care team.
What it is: Article originally written for the Cleo app by Dr. Joy Cooper, OBGYN and founder of Culture Care for what to look for in a provider
Why Cleo Guides love it: As a Black OBGYN, Dr. Cooper has been on both sides of the patient-doctor relationship. She understands how to evaluate providers. In this article, Dr. Cooper offers three qualities to look for and how to make a change if your provider is missing.
What it is: Podcast docuseries highlighting the pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum experiences of Black parents in their own words
Why Cleo Guides love it: Through first-person testimonials, Natal empowers Black birthing people with information and resources, holds medical systems accountable, and lovingly creates a community for Black parents to share their experiences.
What it is: Recorded webinar featuring Cleo Guides Malayia Curliss (doula and early intervention specialist) and Becky Alford (doula and early childhood expert)
Why Cleo Guides love it: Raising a family committed to racial justice goes beyond having a “talk.” This discussion goes into the self examination and education necessary, and also how children process these concepts based on developmental factors.