Be Well Mama: a Conversation With Hannah Bronfman
Activist, entrepreneur and all-around mom-spiration Hannah Bronfman opened up about her life as a soon-to-be mom of two. From pregnancy anxiety and cravings, to how she’s taking charge of her birth plan, The Bump’s head of marketing, Jen Lee, sat down with the Baby Banter host to talk about her unique experiences and how she is proactively using her powerful platform to be an advocate for Black maternal health.
A mother to 2-year-old Preston and 3 months pregnant with her second child, Bronfman wasn’t afraid to get candid about her mental health during pregnancy. “Last time around, I had a lot of anxiety during my pregnancy. At the time, there was a lot of violence happening to the Black community and a lot of stories around death within the Black birthing community,” Bronfman noted. “I’ve had to constantly visualize myself not becoming a statistic.”
To keep her anxiety at bay, the TV host describes looking forward to the future and seeing herself sitting on a back porch with the sun out, watching her kid play while holding her baby. “I feel like I have to visualize these beautiful moments to actually make them come to life,” she shared.
When not dealing with the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy, Bronfman jokes that she’s experiencing some odd cravings this time around. “I had zero cravings with Preston, and I have so many cravings this time around. It’s wild,” Bronfman shared. “I have been eating so much fish from a tin, I can’t even tell you. Like, I’m gonna turn into a sardine,” she joked.
Bronfman didn’t put much thought into her first birth plan, choosing to “go with flow,” and deliver in a traditional hospital setting where she was induced and delivered without complications. But in light of the increasing Black maternal mortality rate and a desire for something different, Bronfman has been much more intentional about her plan for baby No. 2.
“I feel like we are conditioned to have hospital births, even though we are seeing that there are really horrifying, scary outcomes that are happening in hospitals. But at the same time, I am not ready for a home birth,” Bronfman said around her birth plan decision. “I think I have a lot of fear around it…I don’t know, I don’t wanna take the risk, especially because, you know, again it took us so long to get here. So for me, I thought, okay, what’s gonna be the best of both worlds? And that really is having a midwife deliver me in a hospital.”
Bronfman goes on to explain that she found the perfect match with Oula, a modern maternity center that delivers at Mount Sinai West in New York City and is focused on collaborative care—meaning that the practice is mostly made up of midwives but OBs as well. The best part? They’re covered by insurance. “That sounds like lightining struck,” joked Lee.
When not acting as an angel investor in minority-founded companies or sharing workout regimes and recipes, Bronfman is committed to sharing not only her pregnancy and parenting journey but also uplifting the voices of others.
“I was so shocked and taken aback when I first learned in 2020 about the rising Black Maternal mortality statistics, especially also being pregnant. And then I was hearing about really scary stories that were happening to women, around Black Lives Matter and in their pregnancies. It really shook me to the core," said Bronfman. “As someone who has a platform, I truly believe I have a responsibility to educate, share and acknowledge, social injustice and healthcare inequities.”
“Our healthcare system has to do better. I mean, it’s failing us in so many different ways, between reproductive rights as well as this maternal health crisis. At the end of the day, I feel like my platform reaches a pretty multicultural community, and if anything is really going to change the story that is happening to Black women, it cannot just be told by Black women. We need allies and advocates. And if I can help reach another community, we’re doing something—at least one more person knows. At least my story helped one more person be able to advocate for themselves.”
Hannah Bronfman, a native of New York City, is a modern-day renaissance woman. As a graduate of Bard College, where she studied fine art, she has built a reputation as a celebrity and influencer through her work as a health and wellness expert and entrepreneur, as well as her passion for investing and activism. Bronfman released her first book, “Do What Feels Good” on January 8, 2019, by publishing house Harper Wave.
Jen Hayes Lee is a passionate content champion and marketing executive, dedicated to the creation of culturally relevant, inclusive storytelling developed to inspire and empower families of color. As the head of marketing at The Bump, Jen stewards editorial and marketing initiatives to support parents and parents-to-be as they navigate life with baby. At home, she is the self-proclaimed /#BlackBoyJoy curator and mom of three sons, and resides in South Orange, New Jersey, with her husband Clyde.
For more conversations around Black maternal health, check out other Reclaiming Your Power interviews with panelists discussing the role of a prenatal wellness team and the importance of physical wellness in pregnancy. Visit The Bump’s Black Maternal Health Hub for more information, inspiration and support.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.