Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Bianca Comer. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Bianca, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Can you share a story with us from back when you were an intern or apprentice? Maybe it’s a story that illustrates an important lesson you learned or maybe it’s a just a story that makes you laugh (or cry)?
I am an apprentice now, really. I’ve gained a wealth of wisdom from homebirth midwife, Lakisa Muhammad (other homebirth midwives as well); she is the one who welcomed me into the midwifery profession. The call to serve in this capacity has been with me for a while and it wasn’t until I started assisting with homebirths that I began to see maternal health (or, birth work) in a new light. Birth work is community work.
Bianca, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My Master’s degree is in Global Public Health/Development, but I am also a (freelance-ish) Birth Assistant! As a Birth Assistant, I assist licensed homebirth midwives during the labor, birth, and immediate postpartum period. A Birth Assistant is NOT a Doula, haha. The difference? In short, a Doula supports and is hired by the CLIENT (the pregnant mother or the expecting couple usually), whereas a Birth Assistant is hired by and supports the MIDWIFE. The Doula acts as a “labor/birth coach” for the laboring woman (although there are also different types of Doulas). The Birth Assistant supports the midwife with charting, taking the mother and baby’s vitals, etc.
Putting training and knowledge aside, what else do you think really matters in terms of succeeding in your field?
EXPERIENCE. Hands-on experience, shadowing, apprenticeships, and training as well. This is such a niche field, that it can be challenging to find mentors to aid you (and give you a chance, really) in your endeavors.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
I had to unlearn that the only way to get into the maternal and child health field is to go to medical school (or physician assistant, or nursing school, etc.). There are other ways to (safely and effectively) be involved in this work. Also, that book knowledge trumps experience. Of course, knowledge about the physiology and anatomy of the body is important. But it’s the continuous exposure to prenatal visits and observations that ties everything together.
- Instagram: @birthwrkblog
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/biancanicolecomer/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.