Written by Jay Martin (Wofford ’24)
Located in the Northside of Spartanburg, Birth Matters has been serving the Spartanburg community since 2009 by providing no-cost doula care to young birthing parents. Since 2009, Birth Matters has expanded into a community of doulas, families, and prevention care specialists that all have the shared goal of improving healthcare services for everyone in Spartanburg.
Birth Matters has committed to giving the young mothers of Spartanburg the tools they need to advocate for themselves and their children. From the first trimester to the baby’s first birthday, doula’s will stay with the parent(s) and teach them about the biological processes that occur in the birthing parent’s body, how to stay healthy during pregnancy, and understanding how to ask for services from doctors to be informed patients and active in their healthcare. By giving parents the means to understand their care, Birth Matters is putting healthcare back into the hands of patients.
A Birth Matters doula tells a story of a young woman she met in her early years of doula service. She and this young woman spent many weeks together, developing a relationship and discussing her pregnancy care to prepare her for birth. This young woman and her doula talked about her life, her plans for the future, even past trauma. These conversations every week until the birth of her baby, gave this young woman a support system who was able to listen and care for her without judgment. The doula’s at Birth Matters go the extra mile to connect with their clients in order to give them the best and most effective care possible, while allowing them to feel safe and respected during their pregnancies.
The iMatter service at Birth Matters offers support to a teenage demographic and is working to reduce the number of teen pregnancies and the spread of STDs. These educational classes taught by Chelle Jones inform teenagers of ways to practice safe sex and how to emotionally prepare themselves to be prepared for when they are ready to do so. In giving teens the tools to participate in physically and emotionally healthy sex, teen pregnancies and overall STD contraction will decrease. Instilling the next generation with safe sex practices and access to family planning will create a happier and healthier Spartanburg.
Currently Birth Matters offers services that connect patients to chiropractic care at Sherman College, weekly doula visits from a trained doula and community health worker, sex education courses that address and prevent teen pregnancy, emotional support, and advocacy for patients, and much more. Birth Matters is working to improve community health through education and community support. They give young people the tools to make informed decisions about sex and their sexual health as well as a system to prepare them for parenthood. The work Birth Matters is doing will greatly impact the future of Spartanburg as they continue to educate its youth.
To find out how you can help Birth Matters in their efforts to serve the Spartanburg community or learn more about how to access these services, visit their website.
Video by Griffin Fix (Wofford ’24).