Clearbirth EP 40: My Thoughts on Hulu's Aftershock Documentary

Season 2 | Episode 40
30m | Sep 28, 2023

Join your host Annette Perel, a doula for over 17 years, for The Clearbirth Podcast!

In the first trimester, your favorite NYC Doula shouts out MomsRising. An organization committed to taking on issues that directly affect and impact women and mothers. 

Then, shifting away from the usual dynamic of the show, Annette instead highlights and reviews Hulu’s Aftershock documentary. The film follows the families of Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac, women and mothers who died due to childbirth complications. A reality all too common for Black women, women of color, and indigenous women in the U.S.

Annette details key moments that stood out to her in the film, and even shares a client’s birth story and the egregious way her c-section was mishandled.

 In all, Annette argues that we don’t have to live in a country with poor maternal health, and shares thoughts on how getting insurance companies out of women’s bodies, prioritizing access to midwives, and being conscious of racial biases can dismantle the broken system in place. 

Tune in.

Resources from Aftershock Website

Join us in addressing and ending the maternity mortality crisis. Start with taking some of the below actions today. Scroll below to sign up to receive updates on the film and campaign.


Help support the Bronx birthing center shown in the film, The Birthing Place, through a donation.

To honor the life of Shamony Gibson and support transformative maternal health activism in her memory, please contribute to the ARIAH Foundation.

To honor the life of Amber Rose Issac and support transformative maternal health activism in her memory, please contribute to the Save a Rose Foundation.

Forward Together is launching a Birth Justice Policy Committee to create systems of care beyond the current medical systems. Donate and help power their collective of birth workers.

Get involved.

Reach out to your Members of Congress to make your voice heard about why this issue matters to you. Look up your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives here and find information about your Senators here.

Join the efforts of community-based organizations that are leading critical initiatives where you live and nationally. Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of organizations on the frontlines of our maternal mortality crisis.

Watch the recordings from our two virtual events – MALE ALLYSHIP AND ADVOCACY and STANDING UP FOR BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH – to learn more and hear directly from advocates about how you can take action.

Share online.

Use social media to uplift the film and help educate and spread the word about the Black maternal health crisis in our country. Sample posts can be found here.

Are you a Black or Brown birthing parent? Download the Irth App and share your prenatal, birthing, postpartum or pediatric experience to help others. If you are expecting or a new parent you can also find reviews of care from other Black and Brown parents. Search reviews for yourself, and leave reviews to help others.

The Momnibus Act.

To address the maternal health crisis in America, Congressional leaders have been fighting for critically important policies. Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Congresswoman Alma Adams, Senator Cory Booker, and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 (H.R. 959/S. 346). The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act builds on existing legislation to comprehensively address every dimension of the maternal health crisis.

Together, we can:

Amplify the stories of Black and Brown birthing people.

The United States is one of the most dangerous places to give birth compared to other developed countries, and Black and Brown birthing people are dying at 3 to 4 times the rate of their white counterparts.We need to address racial and gender bias in our medical system by amplifying and listening to the lived experiences of people directly impacted by the maternal health crisis.

Support birth workers, doulas, and midwives.

Did you know that both midwives and doulas are associated with improved maternal health outcomes, including lower rates of medical intervention during pregnancy? It’s time for us to join the movements, led by birth workers and birthing people, to ensure that every pregnant person has access to the pregnancy care they need and want – including access to doulas and midwives.

Champion advocates fighting for policy change.

The majority of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States are preventable. There are advocates fighting at the local, state, and federal level to pass legislation that will holistically address the maternal health crisis in our country and end maternal mortality. But they need constituents like you to put pressure on elected officials to make it a priority and bring about systemic change.

This podcast is all about demystifying all things pregnancy, birth, and beyond so that women know they have a choice and agency when it comes to their care and raising their children. It’s also a platform for listeners to voice their questions and tell their stories.

Find the show host on Facebook (@annetteperelclearbirth) Instagram (@annetteladoula) Tiktok (annetteladoula) or send an email to

 Don't forget to rate, review, and subscribe, and gracias/thanks for listening! We would appreciate it if you would rate this podcast 5 stars. It helps other people find the podcast.

This podcast is hosted and produced by Annette Perel and edited and managed by Randie Chapman at Wordie Productions. 

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