Today we’d like to introduce you to Shindreia Chase.
Hi Shindreia, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I am a native of West Baltimore, Md where I learned and cultivated my love for the arts, nature, and all things ancestral. I am a devoted auntie to 13 little people, Godmom to four angels, and the sister of eight warriors! I obtained my B.S, majoring in Biology from Virginia State University.
I originally trained and completed courses in child-birth, Lamaze, lactation, and postpartum care through DONA International (2015). With more respect and awareness of ancestral practices, and traumas in western medicine for women, particularly black and brown women, community advocacy, reproductive and social justice framework of birth, and equality became more prevalent in my world. I further trained and acquired certification as a Virtual and In-Person Full Spectrum Doula with Ancient Song Doula Services (2020). And because knowledge is power, I will continue furthering my education in childbirth and all things, babies!
As a child my mother was always fascinated with my interest and determination to “deliver babies”, no seriously (lol) she was always so amazed by how I’d wanted to be something I had never seen before. Never really having a specific name to give to my dreams, I would obsessively watch the TLC network, day in and day out catching all episodes of Birthday and anything baby and mom-related. My childhood dreams would only keep growing, I dreamed of becoming a teacher, a vet, and stay a home mom! Life and the universe would take me on a journey and lead me here, to this very moment.
During that time of working and navigating life as a new and lost graduate, I’d shadowed and interned with an OB/GYN and family practice doctor to narrow my childhood quest to “delivering babies”. During that quest, The statement of one of my professors that so confidently said to me would continuously ring in my mind “ You will never get into medical school, black women don’t belong there!”. Although I was crushed initially, I would love to send thanks. Because of him, I didn’t go to medical school, but it pushed me to be who I KNEW I’d always wanted to be, “The Baby Whisper” lol.
Graciously so, I was set to assist a black woman OB/GYN on a naval base in delivering my niece in 2015. She gave me the complete experience and closely guided me through the entire birth. My fire was set! I knew where I belonged. During that time I engrossed myself in all things, momma and baby. After many tears, questions, and open google tabs, I soon enrolled to become certified as a doula through DONA International.
After experiencing my first Native American/ Muslim ceremony for an at-home birth to a third-time mom, as her doula, I felt complete. She thanked me with so much love and gratitude! Explaining that, the third birth was her best experience in birth ever and she couldn’t have done it without a doula! She explained in full detail to me just how necessary and essential having a doula has been to her and how many mothers needed and SHOULD have access and knowledge to that kind of care! She was right!
Today, my life has been dedicated to the betterment of humanity. For many years I have worked in education and mental health, Special Education to be exact. As well as working with children and teens with Autism and other disabilities. I juggled my passions of education, doula work, and special education. But I needed to do more. In August of 2020, I took a leap of faith and finally announced and launched my doula business, Mpenzi Tundae LLC.
The year 2020 has brought forth unprecedented times and many changes to maternal care and resources! Many have left the fate of our babies and mommas in the hands of poor care and unchanged fate in trauma. I wanted to continue my quest to help my Baltimore community. After many no’s and uncertainties, in 2021 I joined a team of doulas for The Womb Room Wellness Center of Baltimore.
We still have many strides to make in the maternal health realm. It is my mission to be what my ancestors and elders were in more communal times, community, holistic healers, and warriors, and a safe space for black k and brown women. We have many more strides to take but have no fear, ShinDoula is here!!! We are in this together!
My work is dedicated to two very special ancestors and women in my life and journey, my birth mother Beverly Ann Murdock and my dearest sister-friend Korryn S. Gaines, I pray I am making you proud.
Peace & Blessings to All, ShinDoula
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to success is a bumpy one if that’s what we call this journey. There are many hard days and many uncertainties. One of hardest part has been showing up in spaces that ignores and denies my existence in my cross-sectional presence as a black young woman who happens to be a doula in Baltimore. It’s hard to gain the trust of your community when the information has been hidden or misconstrued by those who could benefit from it the most.
Along with the fact that doula care is not covered by many if any insurance companies. I would love to offer free services, but I also have to make a living, Thankfully we are in slow but progressive times of accepting doula care as real maternal care, There is also a large problem with the discrediting of the benefits to having a doula. Lastly watching women struggle or die in childbirth or from post-childbirth complications that could’ve been prevented, had someone respected and listened to their concerns. It’s a tough position to be in.
As you know, we’re big fans of Mpenzi Tundae Doula Care. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Mpenzi Tundae Doula Care originally started in 2015 as Blessings by Birth. Inspired by my ancestors, my mother Beverly M, and sister-friend Korryn Gaines, I took the journey to become a legal business and Mpenzi Tundae LLC was birthed. Mpenzi Tundae is a holistic and ancestral-centered doula care service provider. I specialize in birth, postpartum, antepartum, and abortion/miscarriage doula services. As well as provide child birth education and lactation information to families of all kinds. What sets me apart from others is my authenticity to self and empathic heart. My advocacy game is strong!
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Yes! I’ve learned what it means to listen to your intuition and the strength of support. Having the right people as a part of your support system has been and is critical to surviving. during these times
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.mpenzitundae.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mpenzitundaedoulacare/
Mia Greene (of Greene Eye Photography)