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Uninhibited Podcast

Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, p... More
Latest Episode
2019-8-13

Episode 6: Human trafficking in rural America

Season 1, Ep. 6

Uninhibited Podcast Shownotes

Episode 6: Human Trafficking & Sexual Abuse Advocacy


Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. 

Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.


---


1:00 - Today, Dr. Makunda is joined by Ms. Mary Jones, a sexual abuse counselor that Dr. Makunda met through her own work with patients that need special counseling. 


1:57 - Mary is a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate at Southside Survivor Response Center in Martinsville, VA. Her main role is to help and assist sexual assault victims by accompanying them to forensic exams, police interviews, attorney’s visits, and anything else that they need. She emphasizes that she is also there for her clients emotional wellbeing.


2:47 - Dr. Makunda asks how did Mary found interest in this field. Is this something she knew she wanted to do since college, or did she discover this profession later on?

Mary did not stumble into this work. She had her own sexual assault experience at a young age and felt she couldn’t tell any of the adults in her life. As a young adult, a friend of Mary’s was raped and had no family near her - so she turned to Mary for help. 


4:15 - Witnessing the suffering of her friend and seeing the lack of support for victims of assault motivated Mary to move into the medical field to help people, where she continued to see a growing need for sexual assault advocates. Later, she went back to school, earned her MBA, then earned another Masters degree in Human Services. Mary knew that this was the path that she needed to follow. 


5:15 - Right before she graduated with her Masters in Human Services, Mary found a part time sexual assault victims advocate position in Virginia, which she applied to and got! Through that work, she helped open up an office in Danville in 2012, a community which previously didn’t have those kinds of services. 


6:21 - Opening the office was widely supported in the Danville community, getting news coverage and positive support from residents of the town. In Mary’s first support group, she had over 16 people in attendance, and within the first year of the Danville office opening, Mary assisted 76 victims, demonstrating that they were providing a much needed service. Despite the huge need, the grant for the office ran out two years later, leading Mary to a position in Martinsville, where she has been for the last five years. 


7:40 - Dr. Makunda explains to listeners that she and Mary live and work in a very small, rural part of Virginia, where services are needed but not always provided or funded as they should be. Dr. Makunda asks Mary to give some insight on the issue of human trafficking in their somewhat sleepy, Southern town. 

Mary explains that, unfortunately, human trafficking looks the same in a small town as it does in a big city. Human trafficking is a criminal activity in which people profit from the control and exportation of others. There are two kinds of human trafficking: sex trafficking and labor trafficking. This abuse can happen anywhere, to children and adults, citizens and non-citizens, and all genders. It is a unique crime because it is hard to identify, investigate, and prosecute. Mary did some research on current trafficking statistics, which found that the US is the world’s largest consumer of human trafficking. 


12:23 - Dr. Makunda asks Mary what human trafficking looks like in their home of Henry County; Who are the traffickers and who is being trafficked?

Mary tells us that traffickers can operate individually or in an organized group, like a gang, although she has dealt with cases where family members have acted as traffickers. Traffickers seem to pray on young people, foreigners, runaways, homeless people, victims of sexual or domestic violence, those that live in poverty, those desperately looking to improve their lives somehow, people suffering from substance abuse, those with mental illness - they target vulnerable people. 


14:50 - Dr. Makunda asks if traffickers typically keep their victims in the same location, or if it’s normal for them to relocate. Mary explains that rarely, traffickers will move their victims around - typically to other southern states on the east coast. But normally, victims usually end up working within the same place where they were trafficked.


16:07 - Dr. Makunda inquires about how traffickers get to know and build trust with their victims.

Mary explains that traffickers have a rather easy time targeting their victims in places that you might not expect, like the mall or a state fair, where a lot of teenagers are present. Occasionally, traffickers have people working with them, like a female friend or even a child who can more easily earn the trust of the victim. 


18:06 - What keeps victims of human trafficking trapped, even if they want to escape?

Fear, mostly. It’s difficult for victims to escape because traffickers don’t want them to inform authorities or lose business, so traffickers make threats against the individual or their loved ones.


19:22 - Dr. Makunda asks Mary to tell us about some success stories of those who escaped human trafficking situations.

Mary tells of an air stewardess who noticed a nicely dressed older man accompanying a young girl who appeared disheveled. The stewardess attempted to make conversation with them, but the man was very aggressive and did not want to talk. When the girl got up to go to the bathroom, the stewardess left the girl a note in the bathroom and the girl responded to the note, indicating she was in trouble and needed help. The stewardess informed the pilot and they were able to rescue the girl when the plane landed.  


21:40 - Dr. Makunda asks Mary what signs parents can look out for to help someone who may be targeted by traffickers. Mary says to look for people who look like they don’t exactly go together, like the old man and girl on the plane. Another sign is to look for children coming home with expensive gifts like a new phone, something out of the ordinary that they might not be able to afford. 


23:50 - If we start to notice these signs, what are the things that parents can do to protect their kids?

Mary emphasizes the importance of parents talking to their children about sex trafficking and discuss ways that children may be targeted by a trafficker, that promises of making their dreams come true can be enticing but also a lie. Parents should also be involved with their child’s social media, know who they’re talking to online, because that is another way traffickers can contact victims. 


26:08 - If you suspect something with your own child or someone else in the community, what are the next steps someone should take to help?

Mary says it is best to talk to law enforcement, or call a sexual assault center like Mary’s office for help. It’s better to get the situation checked out and investigated than to ignore it, even if it ends up not being a trafficking case. 


28:00 - Dr. Makunda asks why trafficking is such a difficult crime to prosecute?

Mary explains that it is much easier to prosecute if the victim talks to law enforcement. But, it can be so hard for victims to speak out against their trafficker and retell their painful experiences; sometimes parents don’t want their children to go through that either. In some cases where the abuse happens between family members, a family may choose to let the problem go unaddressed rather than destroy relationships. 


29:32 - What has been the process of working with victims when they seek help, especially in situations where the trafficker may not be prosecuted and see justice done?

Mary says the most important thing is to build up the victim and revive their self-esteem. When working with younger children, she uses games to help them express and understand their emotions, and to help her understand how to assist the child.


31:33 - “Human trafficking, sexual trafficking, labor trafficking knows no borders, it doesn’t discriminate on race or class or age, even. It’s so important to understand that yes, it can happen in my little neighborhood, yes, it can happen on my little street. I challenge each of us to be that stewardess, to be vigilant and notice the people around us.” - Dr. Makunda 



If you or someone that you know has experienced abuse or are in a trafficking situation, there are resources that are available to help you. 

If you are outside of the Virginia area, you can contact the Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. YOu can also seek out your local agencies for help.

2019-8-13

Episode 6: Human trafficking in rural America

Season 1, Ep. 6

Uninhibited Podcast Shownotes

Episode 6: Human Trafficking & Sexual Abuse Advocacy


Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. 

Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.


---


1:00 - Today, Dr. Makunda is joined by Ms. Mary Jones, a sexual abuse counselor that Dr. Makunda met through her own work with patients that need special counseling. 


1:57 - Mary is a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate at Southside Survivor Response Center in Martinsville, VA. Her main role is to help and assist sexual assault victims by accompanying them to forensic exams, police interviews, attorney’s visits, and anything else that they need. She emphasizes that she is also there for her clients emotional wellbeing.


2:47 - Dr. Makunda asks how did Mary found interest in this field. Is this something she knew she wanted to do since college, or did she discover this profession later on?

Mary did not stumble into this work. She had her own sexual assault experience at a young age and felt she couldn’t tell any of the adults in her life. As a young adult, a friend of Mary’s was raped and had no family near her - so she turned to Mary for help. 


4:15 - Witnessing the suffering of her friend and seeing the lack of support for victims of assault motivated Mary to move into the medical field to help people, where she continued to see a growing need for sexual assault advocates. Later, she went back to school, earned her MBA, then earned another Masters degree in Human Services. Mary knew that this was the path that she needed to follow. 


5:15 - Right before she graduated with her Masters in Human Services, Mary found a part time sexual assault victims advocate position in Virginia, which she applied to and got! Through that work, she helped open up an office in Danville in 2012, a community which previously didn’t have those kinds of services. 


6:21 - Opening the office was widely supported in the Danville community, getting news coverage and positive support from residents of the town. In Mary’s first support group, she had over 16 people in attendance, and within the first year of the Danville office opening, Mary assisted 76 victims, demonstrating that they were providing a much needed service. Despite the huge need, the grant for the office ran out two years later, leading Mary to a position in Martinsville, where she has been for the last five years. 


7:40 - Dr. Makunda explains to listeners that she and Mary live and work in a very small, rural part of Virginia, where services are needed but not always provided or funded as they should be. Dr. Makunda asks Mary to give some insight on the issue of human trafficking in their somewhat sleepy, Southern town. 

Mary explains that, unfortunately, human trafficking looks the same in a small town as it does in a big city. Human trafficking is a criminal activity in which people profit from the control and exportation of others. There are two kinds of human trafficking: sex trafficking and labor trafficking. This abuse can happen anywhere, to children and adults, citizens and non-citizens, and all genders. It is a unique crime because it is hard to identify, investigate, and prosecute. Mary did some research on current trafficking statistics, which found that the US is the world’s largest consumer of human trafficking. 


12:23 - Dr. Makunda asks Mary what human trafficking looks like in their home of Henry County; Who are the traffickers and who is being trafficked?

Mary tells us that traffickers can operate individually or in an organized group, like a gang, although she has dealt with cases where family members have acted as traffickers. Traffickers seem to pray on young people, foreigners, runaways, homeless people, victims of sexual or domestic violence, those that live in poverty, those desperately looking to improve their lives somehow, people suffering from substance abuse, those with mental illness - they target vulnerable people. 


14:50 - Dr. Makunda asks if traffickers typically keep their victims in the same location, or if it’s normal for them to relocate. Mary explains that rarely, traffickers will move their victims around - typically to other southern states on the east coast. But normally, victims usually end up working within the same place where they were trafficked.


16:07 - Dr. Makunda inquires about how traffickers get to know and build trust with their victims.

Mary explains that traffickers have a rather easy time targeting their victims in places that you might not expect, like the mall or a state fair, where a lot of teenagers are present. Occasionally, traffickers have people working with them, like a female friend or even a child who can more easily earn the trust of the victim. 


18:06 - What keeps victims of human trafficking trapped, even if they want to escape?

Fear, mostly. It’s difficult for victims to escape because traffickers don’t want them to inform authorities or lose business, so traffickers make threats against the individual or their loved ones.


19:22 - Dr. Makunda asks Mary to tell us about some success stories of those who escaped human trafficking situations.

Mary tells of an air stewardess who noticed a nicely dressed older man accompanying a young girl who appeared disheveled. The stewardess attempted to make conversation with them, but the man was very aggressive and did not want to talk. When the girl got up to go to the bathroom, the stewardess left the girl a note in the bathroom and the girl responded to the note, indicating she was in trouble and needed help. The stewardess informed the pilot and they were able to rescue the girl when the plane landed.  


21:40 - Dr. Makunda asks Mary what signs parents can look out for to help someone who may be targeted by traffickers. Mary says to look for people who look like they don’t exactly go together, like the old man and girl on the plane. Another sign is to look for children coming home with expensive gifts like a new phone, something out of the ordinary that they might not be able to afford. 


23:50 - If we start to notice these signs, what are the things that parents can do to protect their kids?

Mary emphasizes the importance of parents talking to their children about sex trafficking and discuss ways that children may be targeted by a trafficker, that promises of making their dreams come true can be enticing but also a lie. Parents should also be involved with their child’s social media, know who they’re talking to online, because that is another way traffickers can contact victims. 


26:08 - If you suspect something with your own child or someone else in the community, what are the next steps someone should take to help?

Mary says it is best to talk to law enforcement, or call a sexual assault center like Mary’s office for help. It’s better to get the situation checked out and investigated than to ignore it, even if it ends up not being a trafficking case. 


28:00 - Dr. Makunda asks why trafficking is such a difficult crime to prosecute?

Mary explains that it is much easier to prosecute if the victim talks to law enforcement. But, it can be so hard for victims to speak out against their trafficker and retell their painful experiences; sometimes parents don’t want their children to go through that either. In some cases where the abuse happens between family members, a family may choose to let the problem go unaddressed rather than destroy relationships. 


29:32 - What has been the process of working with victims when they seek help, especially in situations where the trafficker may not be prosecuted and see justice done?

Mary says the most important thing is to build up the victim and revive their self-esteem. When working with younger children, she uses games to help them express and understand their emotions, and to help her understand how to assist the child.


31:33 - “Human trafficking, sexual trafficking, labor trafficking knows no borders, it doesn’t discriminate on race or class or age, even. It’s so important to understand that yes, it can happen in my little neighborhood, yes, it can happen on my little street. I challenge each of us to be that stewardess, to be vigilant and notice the people around us.” - Dr. Makunda 



If you or someone that you know has experienced abuse or are in a trafficking situation, there are resources that are available to help you. 

If you are outside of the Virginia area, you can contact the Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. YOu can also seek out your local agencies for help.

2019-8-6

Episode 5: Real Talk

Season 1, Ep. 5

Uninhibited Show Notes

Episode 5: Abortion with Lou


Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. 

Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.


---


1:29 - Today’s guest, Lou, introduces herself to us. Lou has worked in abortion clinics from 1990-1998, doing everything from scheduling appointments to going through informed consent, to assisting physicians with the abortion process. Importantly, Lou has acted as an advocate for women going through abortions.


2:05 - Dr. Makunda asks Lou why she did this job, what was so important or fulfilling about it? Lou’s reasoning is gounded in her own traumatic and abusive childhood, feeding her decision that nobody should have to go through what she had to. Her participation and advocacy for abortion rights and access could help prevent unwanted pregnancies and unhealthy childhoods.


2:50 - “Even though some people may feel that you’re taking life, in some ways, you feel that you’re giving life because of the difficult situations that you’ve seen some of the women were in.” - Dr. Makunda.


3:10 - Dr Makunda asks if there is a typical woman who comes seeking help at the clinic. Who were the people, backgrounds, and circumstances that Lou interacted with?

Lou explains that women who come to the clinic came from all walks of life, and had varied backgrounds and experiences. The one commonality that she witnessed was their emotional states. There was a lot of grief and shame, fear and self-hatred surrounding their need for an abortion - this is never a choice that anybody really wants to make.


5:40 - “The statistics show that one out of four - 25% - of women in America will have a termination by the time they are in their 40s.” We all know someone who has gone through this experience and it shouldn’t make you think any less of them.


6:53 - Why do you think the safe availability of abortion is important?

Women should have the right to choose what to do with their body and what to do with their lives. It’s as simple as that. The abortion debate that lawmakers and society is having is not about children. It’s about control, it’s about ownership, it’s about possession and keeping women subservient to the desires of another.


7:55 - Dr. Mackunda adds that the argument of the “pro-life” stance isn’t truly about protecting life, because those proponents have used violence against people who perform and advocate for safe abortion.


8:36 - Have you been at a clinic where there’s been protesting?

Lou explains how she’s walked through picket lines, had her photo taken, had her car license plate and information taken down, while the clinics that she’s worked at experienced bomb threats, distraught and violent partners of clients, and threatening phone calls.


9:50 - Dr Makunda shares her own experience with Planned Parenthood and her interaction with the other services they provide (as abortion services only make up a small percentage). At 16, Dr. Macunda was contemplating becoming sexually active and made the choice to go to Planned Parenthood to discuss birth control options, leaving that same day with birth control pills. Having that choice and that resource made a world of difference in her own life.


11:30 - Dr. Makunda and Lou discuss how they view women’s bodies in today’s society, talking about how women’s bodies and agency are very much under attack. The actions occuring are about taking away education, access, and control over health and wellness decisions that extend past abortion.


12:36 - Lou and Dr. Makunda discuss how proper sex education and easy access to contraception can truly be part of the solution for America’s abortion issue.


13:50 - Lou makes the excellent point that if the opposing argument was truly about children, then there would be societal support systems in place to help take care of and raise those children. Instead, what we have currently is a system that prioritizes making money, which forces many people into situations where they can’t make ends meet.


14:30 - “It really is about women’s bodies, women’s voices, and women’s choices.” - Dr. Makunda


14:57 - Lou tells us about some common misconceptions that women discussed with her in the clinics, as well as societal misunderstandings.

One widespread misconception that women have is that they should feel ashamed about having an abortion, that they had somehow failed their biological perogative of having children.


15:26 - Dr. Makunda asks Lou what scares her the most about what’s happening in America currently. Dr. Makunda elaborates that the scariest thing for her is that these new state laws limit safe abortions - dangerous abortions will still take place out of desparation and lack of access, which can lead to horrible outcomes for women.


17:00 - Lou agrees, also saying that society needs to shift the conversation to understand the root of the problem and why there is such a need for this type of control. She is also concerned about how regressive these laws and viewpoints can be - women can be seen more as possessions to be controlled, which can have dangerous consequences.


17:55 - Dr. Makunda brings up that this is an issue of wealth as well. Wealthy women will always have options and avenues to safe abortions. People with means will have their right to elective abortion protected because they can afford to pursue other options. Poor women without access to transportation, money, or support cannot access to such abortion options.


19:44 - Lou relays a story that really impacted her during her time at the clinic. A woman, addicted to drugs, came in at 24 weeks, which was the legal limit for abortions. They started the 3-day procedure and educated the client that she could not use drugs while undergoing treatment. On the second day, the client explained that she had used, which meant the clinic team had to stop and reverse the procedure. A week later, the woman realized she was pregnant with twins and that her children would be born addicted to drugs. She begged the clinic to help her, but they were unable to assist because of the 24-week limit.


22:30 - Ultimately, we need to work to keep abortion safe. As the #YouKnowMe campaign says, there are women who you know in your life who were able to make the right decision for themselves and their bodies. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is a deeply personal choice - it can be necessary from a trauma, it can be an economic decision, or a choice made by a young person so they can pursue a different course of life.


24:20 - Lou ends on the point that it is our duty as adults to give our children the best that we can offer. If we’re unable to provide that, then abortion can be a responsible choice to avoid unnecessary suffering.

2019-7-30

Episode 4: Daphne’s Story

Season 1, Ep. 4

Uninhibited Podcast Shownotes

Episode 4: Daphne’s Story


Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. 

Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.


---


01:00 - Today, we’re joined by Ms. Daphne to talk about women’s rights, to understand why women need to have safe access to abortion, and to discuss her own experiences with escaping abuse. Daphne is a 31 year old white woman living in Texas with a young son, is a yoga teacher and minister who primarily works with survivors of domestic violence. 


2:50 - Daphne gives us some background about her life and the dark places she found herself in the early 2000s. She met her son’s father, stopped using drugs, found yoga, and started to explore her own spiritual path. Daphne dives into the early stages of her relationship with her son’s father, and how, over time, she developed a feeling of safety with him while finding a sense of wholeness within herself.


8:21 - Dr. Makunda asks Daphne to share if her pregnancy was planned. Daphne explains that she and her partner were drinking heavily at the time, not practicing safe sex, and doesn’t remember many of her sexual encounters with him. She was about two months pregnant by the time she realized, but her partner promised his support and care for their child.


10:05 - Daphne explains that her pregnancy was the first extended time of her adulthood that she was completely sober, which allowed for a lot of her personal, spiritual and emotional growth. She discovered that she didn’t have much in common with her friends other than drinking alcohol. When she asked her partner to make healthy changes for their child, he made some adjustments and they set up boundaries to protect their family. 


11:55 - Daphne describes how their living conditions and relationship changed after the birth of their son. Still living with her partner’s alcoholic father led to tension, and her partner directed much of his own anger and insecurities on Daphne. He would make her feel trapped and like she had no options of living on her own without him.


15:25 - Dr. Makunda asks how things changed once Daphne’s son was born. Daphne explains that it was “like a light switch flipping.” When the baby came, Daphne felt absolutely controlled, trapped, and like she couldn't leave - she understands now how this was complete manipulation by her partner and is something that is typical in abusive situations.


16:40 - When her son was about a year old, Daphne was physically assaulted by her partner for the first time and he ended up in jail. The situation was that Daphne felt that her partner had put their son in a threatening situation with an unsafe person, and her partner did not honor her desire to have that unsafe person removed from their house. When Daphne said she would ask them to leave and stood up for herself, her partner reacted with terrible physical violence. 


20:40 - Daphne managed to escape the situation and get to her car, but was without a phone and her child. Not knowing what else to do, she drove to the local fire station, as her father had once told her to do. There, she found support and was able to meet the police at her house, where her partner was arrested and taken to jail. The next day, Daphne gave her father money to bail her partner out. Her father felt it was possible that he could make Daphne’s partner change by having a serious conversation, and Daphne detailed how difficult it was to get her parents to stop having contact with him. 


25:00 - Daphne and Dr. Makunda discuss how religion and shared experiences made it difficult for Daphne’s father to be critical of her abuser. It seemed that Daphne’s father was sympathetic towards her abusive partner, rather than trying to protect his daughter, because he saw something within her partner that he had also experienced. 


26:38 - “What I’ve learned through many experiences is that you can’t want for somebody else what they don’t want for themselves.” - Dr. Makunda


29:23 - Dr. Makunda asks how long Daphne stayed with her partner after that first violent experience, and what was the force that finally got her to leave him. Daphne explains that the incident happened in November 2015 and she left that following May of 2016. During the time before she escaped, the verbal and emotional abuse Daphne experienced intensified and her abuser made her feel small and helpless. She also experienced sexual abuse and rape from her abuser, but she didn’t know how to navigate these situations because he was also her partner.


31:00 - In the spring of 2016, Daphne went through a second yoga teacher training, during which she found she had grown and shifted within herself to fully realize and acknowledge that her partner was sexually and emotionally abusing her. That was the time that she knew she had to get out, or it would keep getting worse. She made a plan with her friend and her mother to move out with her son, and they went to live at a friend’s house. 


32:20 - In Texas, the state can press charges against individuals with domestic abuse histories and put them into intervention programs. Daphne’s abuser was in one of these programs, but used the language and learnings from those sessions to attempt to manipulate her again. He would also use their son as a tool to create hope that things could get better. 


33:04 - Three weeks after she left her abuser, Daphne found herself with him and he proceeded to get her drunk. He told her that she should stay and not drive home, but she woke up to him raping her again, which resulted in her second pregnancy. She was terrified and felt there was no option but to move back in with him, but her abuser refused to keep any of his promises about changing and getting help.


34:45 - Daphne shares a conversation she had with a friend, where she felt immense guilt over not wanting her pregnancy. Her friend supported her and explained that Daphne had a choice - that she did not have to live in terror, that she did not have to go through with a pregnancy that came from rape, that she was not trapped by her abuser. Daphne made an appointment at an abortion clinic and told her abuser that she was terminating the pregnancy and would not stay with him. 


35:50 - Daphne was 12 weeks pregnant when she went to her appointment which meant she had to have a D&C procedure, and describes the physical and emotional pain she went through while simultaneously feeling empowered through her bodily autonomy. This process made her realize that she had power and she was the one with control over her and her child’s lives. 


37:15 - Dr. Makunda asks Daphne to share more of her experience at the abortion clinic and how she felt in that environment. Daphne explains that the clinic in Dallas that she attended is always very busy, meaning there are always protesters outside. While protesters want to “save the life” of the fetus, Daphne argues that she needed to save her own life.

She also goes into detail about the process itself, with a 4-hour appointment on day one and a 6-hour appointment on day two (Texas requires a 24 hour waiting period between the initial appointment and the procedure). 


40:40 - “Having the chance to make that choice for myself, as difficult of a choice as it was, gave me the courage and confidence to continue making choices for myself that were in my best interest, regardless of what anyone else said or wanted of me.” - Daphne


41:23 - Dr. Makunda inquires about Daphne’s process of finally severing ties with her abuser and moving forward with her life. Daphne tells that, although it’s been a long and difficult journey, she has a supportive community around to help her. Her parents offer to help with her son and she has moved into more stable work as a priestess, an ordained minister, a coach and spiritual counselor at a wellness center, while also seeking to launch a non-profit organization to offer her services to survivors of domestic violence.


44:23 - An important aspect of domestic abuse situations that Daphne shares is that the violence doesn’t stop when you leave, and many people don’t realize that reality. In the first two weeks of leaving an abusive relationship, that survivor is 70 times more likely to be killed by their violent partner. The threat of abuse doesn’t just disappear. 


45:39 - Dr. Makunda asks what Daphne’s advice would be to someone in a similar situation to hers. Daphne recommends finding the local domestic violence shelter because they will have the tools needed to keep survivors safe, find legal protection, and will have accommodations where survivors can stay in a protected space. Remember, survivors are not alone in this.

48:23 - Dr. Makunda asks Daphne to tell us about the “new” Daphne - the woman that is healed and whole. Daphne shares that yoga helped reconnect her to her spiritual path and understand her own experience, and her practice of power yoga helped her find strength, endurance and her mental power.


____________________________________________________________________________


If you or someone that you know is in an abusive situation and is seeking help, there are always resources available to help. 


National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)


Many local communities have shelters and assistance for people experiencing domestic abuse. If you are unable to search for these resources yourself due to fear of being observed by your abuser, you can work through different organizations in your community (like Daphne found help at the local firehouse) or with representatives from the national resources listed above. 

2019-7-23

Episode 3: Black Mom’s Matter

Season 1, Ep. 3

Uninhibited Podcast Shownotes

Episode 3: Second part of Erica’s journey of pregnancy, loss, and healing.


Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. 

Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.


---


00:55 - Dr. Makunda is back this week to finish a two-part interview with Ericka Turnipseed, a writer and educator who lives with her family in D.C. This two-part podcast explores issues around the high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality in the black community. Ericka shares her story about her experience and how her life has changed.


2:00 - Ericka describes waking up after her emergency C-section at 24 weeks into her pregnancy, and the uncertainty of the whole situation she was in. She was suffering from preeclampsia and Hellp Syndrome, woke up with an allergic reaction to one of the medications, was recovering from surgery, and also didn’t know if her daughter had survived after surgery. 


3:30 - Ericka shares a turning moment after surgery when she met her night nurse and she could finally relay the pain she felt because she hadn’t yet been able to see her daughter, Grace. The nurse offered to take Ericka to the NICU on her break to see Grace, who was barely even one pound at the time. The joy of seeing her daughter was also mixed with Ericka’s great concern for her premature and sick child, and the severe condition of her own health. 


7:05 - Ericka describes how her unique medical condition and the mystery around it made her feel like a curiosity for the medical staff, rather than a patient with a life and a story. Thankfully, Ericka had a friend in the medical field who helped advocate for her and remind others that she is a person experiencing a crisis, rather than a science experiment. 


11:25 - “This is for all the sisters, all the women out there that maybe are feeling afraid of using their voice, but really in the end, that’s all we have. If we have to scream, then we scream, and if we can use polite language, then we use polite language. But using your voice is really a lot of times the only power you have.” - Dr. Makunda


14:16 - Ericka talks about how she had to advocate for Grace and had to push to gain information and understanding about her situation, even while Ericka was still recovering. Grace lived for four days after her birth, and on her last day of life, Ericka could tell that her child was declining. After consulting with the resident caring for Grace, Ericka noticed that the answers she was receiving were intentionally vague, despite her being very direct and was asking for the truth. 


17:53 - Dr. Makunda speaks about situations like this from a medical point of view, which can be made so complex by medical mysteries and emotional responses. In some circumstances, it can be that the medical professionals aren’t entirely sure what the issue it; with some patients and their families, they will push to try everything to save their loved one, even if that may not be the most effective decision. 


22:50 - Ericka describes what she did to be the best mother to Grace during her daughter’s last moments - she had tremendous help and support from the NICU nurses to arrange for Ericka and her husband to hold Grace as she passed.

However, Ericka notes now that the NICU does not have the space or comforts needed for families going through the final moments and death of their child. For example, at one point during her time with Grace, their privacy was interrupted by someone unaware of their situation. Deaths in the NICU aren’t uncommon, and the fact that the unit is not set up to comfortably accommodate the transition into death should be changed. 


28:07 - After Grace passed, the nurses put together a small memory box: Grace’s newborn hat, her armband, other things that she had accumulated in her short life and long stay in the NICU. Ericka stayed in the hospital for another three days after Grace’s passing, leaving her to handle the arrangements and questions and grief of death while still recovering herself. She even had to fight to get Grace’s birth certificate.


33:08 - Dr. Makunda asks Ericka to describe her path of emotional and physical recovery after Grace’s death. Ericka describes that grief is an ugly road and it took her awhile to come to terms with the fact that the complications of her pregnancy were not her fault. Ericka and her family had a funeral for Grace to celebrate her life and the meaning she held; they mourned the way Ericka had become a mother, together. However, there were people who didn’t understand what the loss of a child meant - that Grace hadn’t lived long enough for Ericka to form a bond, that she could always have another, as if Grace were replaceable. 


36:37 - “As soon as you see those two lines, you make plans.” - Dr. Makunda


41:50 - Ericka shares some of the difficulties she faced in society while navigating her grief for Grace. Often, people’s efforts to be comforting were actually more cutting. 


50:00 Ericka discusses the process that helped her with her grief - mostly, talking with other women. She connected with her grandmother, who had also lost children, and realized that there were so many experiences that other women had that nobody shared. Through these connections, Ericka found that “the blessing is bigger than the pain.”

2019-7-23

Episode 2: Black Mom’s Matter!

Season 1, Ep. 2

Uninhibited Podcast Shownote

Episode 2: Black Mom’s Matter!


Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. 

Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.


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1:00 - Dr. Makunda introduces us to this week’s guest, Ericka Turnipseed, and gives some background on their topic of discussion: the high rates of maternal deaths - both during pregnancy and delivery - that is disproportionately impacting black women. 


3:13 - Ericka describes her own experience with her first pregnancy, where she didn’t feel heard or cared for at her 22-week checkup meeting when her primary OBGYN was unavailable. There were a few concerns that Ericka expressed during her appointment, but she was told to go home and wasn’t seen by a doctor.


11:07 - A few days after that appointment, Ericka felt unwell at work and decided to leave, experiencing high levels of pain on her trip home. On arriving at the emergency room, Ericka was in intense pain and was seen by ER doctors on the labor and delivery floor, who couldn’t find a reason for her pain, but suspected preeclampsia. 


14:50 - Dr. Makunda explains that even though Ericka’s situation was medically rare, these types of issues in providing effective prenatal care to black women isn’t just a hospital or area problem - it’s a national problem. 


16:15 - Ericka saw a lack of confidence among the attending doctors caring for her, as this condition at barely 24 weeks into the pregnancy was uncommon. As soon as Ericka’s primary OBGYN arrived, they went through more tests to figure out exactly what was going on which led to a diagnosis of Hellp Syndrome. This syndrome affects blood platelets and liver enzymes. Ericka was admitted to the hospital, given the proper medications, and put on strict bedrest to prevent her from going into labor. 


18:20 - Ericka tells about all the heartbreaking thoughts and feelings she was having at this time. She knew she was going to have a daughter, was discussing names and futures with her partner, and suddenly, her baby’s life was at risk because Ericka’s life was at risk. 


20:40 - Ericka recalls being awoken that evening by her primary OBGYN to the news that they were going to have to move forward with her delivery because her condition was continuing to decline. The only option to save Ericka was to deliver her child. Her family rushed to be at her side through surgery and through this traumatic experience.

26:14 - On waking up from surgery, Ericka didn’t know where her daughter was or if she had survived the surgery. Thankfully, Ericka’s daughter, Grace, lived through the surgery, but it was uncertain how long she might live. Ericka was also experiencing complications and an allergic reaction after everything, so was moved to the ICU without seeing her child. 


29:59 - “You said ‘I felt like my body had failed me’ and a lot of the dialogue about this maternal morbidity and mortality amongst African Americans is placing blame on the African American female body.” - Dr. Makunda. 


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For more information on Preeclampsia and Hellp Syndrome, check out these resources: