Black Birth Joy: 9 Instagram Accounts That Celebrate Life
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Black Birth Joy: 9 Instagram Accounts That Celebrate Life

These moms share their stories to inspire and empower other Black moms and to share the beauty in growing, birthing and raising children.
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Updated
December 6, 2021
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The headlines are bleak and the statistics are staggering: Black women are dying at disproportionately higher rates from pregnancy and postpartum complications than any other demographic group.

What should be a celebration of new life is often shadowed in grief. Scroll through hashtags like #BlackMotherhood and #BlackPregnancy on Instagram and you’ll find devastating stories of moms who lost their lives during childbirth. The eye-opening reality is that so many of these deaths are preventable—because, while it’s a fact that Black women are more at risk for dangerous conditions in pregnancy, it’s also true that many of these issues stem from systemic racism and inequities in healthcare.

Pregnancy itself can be lonely. This is compounded for Black moms who know all too well that their health and well-being (and that of their baby) is at a greater risk. Finding a support system can help bring light to an otherwise scary and isolating experience. Plus, I can tell you from personal experience that being pregnant during a pandemic adds a whole other layer of complication to this equation. Fortunately, I was able to tap a community beyond my immediate family and friends while expecting my third. Social media helped me make connections near and far. Scrolling through Instagram and seeing other Black moms find peace and support during their prenatal and childbirth experiences brought immense comfort—even as I navigated my own pregnancy and postpartum complications.

Finding Black birth joy in my feed—moms holding their babies for the first time, nursing their little loves and introducing their new addition to big brothers and sisters—helped me feel less alone and more hopeful. It gave me back the social connection I craved but couldn’t have, and it helped me feel inspired and empowered as I advocated for myself and the care I wanted and deserved.

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Black birth joy exists to counter the bias and racism that so many of us face during conception, childbirth, postpartum and beyond. It’s a beautifully bold testament to how resilient Black women are and have always been. Here are nine Black moms to follow; they unabashedly share the joy in Black birth and celebrate love, life and family every day.

Cheryl Neufville (heyy.cheryl)

Dance has been a way to share joy and show resistance since the days of slavery. Of course, the expressive movement also offers a simple way to de-stress and keep the mind and body connected and relaxed.

Cheryl Neufville Etiang demonstrated how the medium can be both communicative and jubilant throughout her recent pregnancy. For nine+ months, the Liberian dancing doula bared her beautiful bump in choreographed posts inspired by viral Tik Tok videos. It was an encouraging reminder to get up and move through the heavy feelings that can consume parts of the day. What’s more, her transparency in navigating antenatal depression helped others facing similar challenges. She has shed light on serious mental-health issues, from anxiety to suicidal ideation, in a way that’s approachable and admirable.

A few months postpartum, Neufville is back to dancing to chill beats. It’s an honor to watch her come into her own as she falls in love with her new body—the one that housed and protected her beautiful baby girl.

Follow her: @heyy.cheryl

Tanay Michele (@tanaymichele)

This creative Black mom, who welcomed a bright-eyed rainbow baby girl a few months ago, always manages to lighten the mood and bring the fun. If you need a laugh while navigating the sweet and crazy moments of motherhood, check out her hilarious reels—they touch on all the ridiculous challenges millennial parents face while juggling life with a newborn. Better yet, she’s a straight shooter: Tanay’s not afraid to shut down comments about her postpartum snapback, and she’ll still take the vacation even if you think her kids are too young to remember it. (You only live once!) Her “you do you” attitude is a welcome and appreciated addition to the Insta feed.

Follow her: @tanaymichele

Tracy-Ann Frazier (@knowingtracy)

Raising three littles is no easy feat! You’ll be in awe of Tracy-Ann Frazier; she balances it all with grace, grit and humor. Her authenticity shines through in her reels—and her funny anecdotes about missed naps and phantom cries will bring a smile to any knowing mama’s face. She doesn’t minimize the meltdowns or hide the struggles; she simply shares the tiny triumphs with gratitude and a smile. You can find all of this realness on her Instagram feed—along with informative and insightful tips for new and expecting moms on everything from the pros and cons of shaving before delivery to the benefits of breast milk baths.

Follow her: @knowingtracy

Bre Wigley (@bre.faith.fit)

A nutrition coach and wellness enthusiast, Bre Wigley inspires followers with her mindful approach to healthy living during and after pregnancy. (FYI, she has a second account where she shares recipes like her “labor soup” that’s supposed to fuel moms-to-be between labor contractions!) As a new mom to a baby girl, Camille Faith, Bre recently opened up about her unmedicated water birth, and shared real and raw behind-the-scenes photos of this intensely intimate and emotional moment—Black birth joy defined.

Follow her: @bre.faith.fit

Cynthia Andrew (@Simplycyn)

This lawyer, traveler and stylish mama of twins lives life boldly. On Instagram, she posts about the global adventures she enjoys with her husband of 10+ years and their boys, and dishes on must-have products for postpartum moms and babies. But it’s not all jetsetting, fashion and fun; she has also talked about facing discrimination during her prenatal care; she felt invisible and demeaned. Fortunately, Cynthia knew better than to settle and stay silent. She switched OBs multiple times, actively seeking the care she knew she needed. To that end, she uses her social platform to encourage other women to take social action in their communities and find ways to help each other succeed. It’s women supporting women at its finest.

Follow her: @Simplycyn

Alexis Kristiana (@alexiskristiana)

A stunning model and mama, Alexis Kristiana admits that she was unhappy with her postpartum body image after the birth of her first child in 2019. But fast-forward to today, and you’ll see that this now-mama of two works to empower others to celebrate all the amazing things their bodies can do. Yes, she’s still absolutely gorgeous, but you’ll appreciate the way she shares the pretty and the gritty sides of parenting a toddler and an infant (Instagram, meet reality).

Follow her: @alexiskristiana

Andrésha (@MommyInspires)

There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing young Black couples and families share what life really looks like as they strive to break generational curses and dismantle society’s ignorant stereotypes. And that’s just what Andrésha and her husband are doing–putting in the hard work and having faith. As Andrésha has explained in a social post, they became parents right out of high school and had a steep learning curve: “Black love ain’t even close to what we see in the movies. We had to unlearn some things and create our own fairytale. We had to work 10 times harder than other cultures, breaking down walls.”

During her most recent pregnancy, Andrésha captured and documented the sweetest and simplest moments of her day-to-day life as a young Black homeschooling mom of tweens. What’s more, she shared her VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) journey. This childbirth path is often discouraged for women of color—usually because of institutional racism and socioeconomic disparities that restrict access to care. Posting her own VBAC home-birth video served as a way to encourage and inspire other Black moms-to-be to stay the course and advocate for themselves.

Follow her: @MommyInspires

Tash Haynes (@itstashhaynes)

Seattle blogger Tash Haynes is the mama friend you didn’t know you needed on the internet. She has opened up about how her extended family shamed her for nursing her oldest child for two years; none of her relatives had ever chosen to breastfeed. Her transparency sheds light on racial disparities in breastfeeding and offers a voice of gentle encouragement to those who want to stay the course. “I nurse for every mother on my generational line, who came before me and chose something different because they couldn’t…out of shame, or pure lack of education about the benefits and what it takes.”

Follow her: @itstashhaynes

Meagan Henderson (@blacksupermamas)

We all need a support system to rally behind us. Meagan Henderson gave birth to her first child at the height of the pandemic—and like so many others, she felt isolated and anxious. Inspired by strong women who adjust each other’s crowns, she created her own social space so that other Black moms could feel seen, heard and uplifted. With a focus on sending out positive energy and spreading good vibes, she shares enlightening affirmations about pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding that remind us all that how we feel—both physically and mentally—matters. Meagen speaks out on how Black moms are being failed, and touches on everything from mom guilt to the best Black-owned babywearing brands.

Follow her: @blacksupermamas

More than ever, we must surround ourselves with positive narratives of hope and change. The Black maternal health crisis is real, but educating ourselves with stories of success, love and light can help us feel empowered on the path to childbirth and parenthood. Black mamas, continue to protect your peace, embrace radical self-love and radiate Black birth joy as you watch your wombs, babies and families blossom and grow.

About the author: Danielle Wilson is a lifestyle and entertainment writer and event producer who loves bringing people together through relatable storytelling and impactful, community-focused events. She is passionate about Black maternal health, family wellness and advocating for those with chronic illnesses. She shares snippets of her NYC adventures, raising three Black unicorns with her childhood crush at Dellahsjubilation.com. Follow her on Instagram.

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