A century ago, where did every woman turn to when on the cusp of bringing another life into the world? Back then, a midwife was well versed in the mysteries inherent in this most marvelous of acts. Bringing back a hearty and healthful tradition to this now sadly impersonal process, an “average” day in the life of Jamarah Amani is often anything but. “Every day looks different,” says Amani, who, along with operating Open Hands Midwifery, also spearheads the Southern Birth Justice Network, a nonprofit that seeks to make her craft available to all women, regardless of race or class. “A midwife is on-call all the time, so whether it’s 3 p.m. or 3 a.m., I have to be close to my phone.” Providing care for the whole woman with a level of intimacy often found lacking in our modern medical environs, Amani finds her primary purpose to be one of communication and compassionate care. “I spend a significant amount of time with people when I see them,” she says. “Of course, I’m checking the state of their health, but it’s so much more than that…are they getting along well with their family? Are they dealing with insecure housing? Factors like these can really affect the future of their child.” Certified for 5 years and present for well over 200 births, we can’t wait to see what bold new lives Jamarah Amani ushers into our region’s future; OpenHandsMidwifery.com.
While attending Ponce De Leon Middle School, Melissa Saldaña got involved in volunteer projects such as serving as Treasurer of the Youth For Environmental Studies Club. Little did she know that spending her lunches helping to reconcile accounts was great training for her future career in nonprofit financial management.
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