Chama Woydak is owner of Homegrown Babies and Homegrown Families Health and Educational Center in Asheville, North Carolina. She is a Certified Birth Doula, Birth Doula Trainer, and Certified Lamaze Childbirth Educator. Passionate about social justice and advocacy, Chama works along side Sistas Caring for Sistas, a professional development addressing maternal and health disparities in her community.
Homegrown Babies is a safe container to help families navigate systems of health. The educational center helps to identify tools and resources offered for what one needs for capacity building in order to move confidently in health and body literacy.
Homegrown Babies is a center housed with services that includes a range of Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, NICU and Loss Doulas, Doula Trainings, Bodywork Services, Placenta Services, Photography Services, and Support Groups.
My father died when I was 10, My mother and I had a tumultuous relationship I ended up moving out of the house at age 15. Both my parents just died, so there was never any real closure to those relationships. I was an only child.
I was teaching a Childbirth class when I found out my mother died. The loss is ancestral and visceral. The questions about what to do with the person that dies come quickly, here I am on the floor--like, I have to figure out what to do with my mom as I am an only child...
I remember coming home and setting a place for tea and I just had tea with my mom in the living room. Let me share with you everything I wasn't able to grapple or reconcile with when you were alive.
What do people receive when coming to Homegrown Babies?
The question that I ask myself is what do people need to feel safe and confident as they are navigating systems of health that were not necessarily made for them. To be the expert of their own bodies, and their babies are the experts of their own bodies.
So much of the power of the work that I do is in the power of listening and witnessing...that's all I do. It reorganises us at the core level, it is the ultimate gift of honor and respect you can pay someone is by deeply listening.
The second thing is power of witnessing. We've all the saying, "Can I have a witness?" Yet, I don't think we understand the power of that witnessing in healthcare and through the work of doulas.
So many of my classes are infused with social justice and advocacy, and having people being their own experts and not their care provider. I teach people to be active participants in their care.