Changing Woman Initiative Newsletter
Ensuring access to decolonized , Indigenously centered, healthy , tradition childbirth options for Native American Women
Greetings from CWI
Dear Relatives,

The spring issue of our Newsletter brings beautiful tidings from New Mexico. Through our community engagement and program development phase in 2018, we were able to create a homebirth practice and Easy access clinic based on learnings about the unmet needs around Native women’s health. Since opening our clinic in November of 2018, we have served 14 families for varies women’s health needs. Of those 14 and through our partnership with Mogro, 6 birthing families have received weekly groceries while getting care with us.
In February of this year, we released a report called “Native American Prenatal Care Trends in NM” (see link ) which highlighted the last 10 years of data around Native American women accessing prenatal care in New Mexico. What stood out the most, was there are more AI/AN mothers today who are not receiving prenatal care until the 3 rd trimester or report having no prenatal care at all through their entire pregnancy. Further, that AI/AN mothers lag behind in prenatal care as compared to their fellow non-AI/AN New Mexico mothers.

What we learned last year while hosting the Talking Circles in 8 Pueblo rural and urban communities are that in some places like Taos, NM, Native women have to wait 4-6 weeks to be seen by an OB or midwife. Further that non-profit organizations are using home visiting and doulas to fill in the gaps around maternal, parenting, and newborn education.

It’s a privilege to work alongside our communities to serve Native families as they welcome their new relative into this world. As their midwife I get to bear witness to the renewal of cultural practices and teachings only brought forth through birth of a baby and birth of mother/father. All the while knowing this is healing past, present and future generations.

As we move through 2019, a year that marks the bridge between our dreamed Native American birthing center and continued development towards non-profit excellence, we are thankful for our partnerships with Every Mother Counts, Novo Foundation, Groundswell Foundation, Brindle Foundation, 7 th Generation Foundation, and all those supporting our work through donations. This work wouldn’t be possible without your trust and support to make sure that Native American families are getting culturally centered women’s health care through a community midwifery model.


Nicolle L. Gonzales

Nicolle L. Gonzales, CNM
Founder & Executive Director
Deb Haaland in DC
Congressional Briefing on Native American Maternal Health

On February 12, 2019 and for the first time in history, a congressional briefing was held on Native American Maternal health, where indigenous women leaders were invited to speak on missing murdered indigenous women, reproductive rights, and barriers to accessing healthcare. The convening was hosted by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the U.S. Human Rights Network and in cooperation with Representative Deb Haaland.

Changing Woman Initiative was invited to participate in this monumental panel of women and was represented by our Indigenous Midwifery Fellow, Melissa Rose. Melissa spoke on the importance of informed consent, the complexities of Indian Health Services, barriers to care for Native families, and needed health policy changes in Indian country to better serve our communities. You can read the full briefing notes here 

Please see our Native American Prenatal Care Trends in NM report that lists Recommendations and Policy Implications.
MoGro is a  non-profit mobile grocery project  that delivers weekly shares of healthy foods to community sites across northern NM including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and in rural and tribal communities. They source locally as much as possible in the growing season, and include familiar and healthy fruit and vegetable choices - in addition to local meats, breads, cheese and other grocery items. 
MoGro offers weekly produce shares for  $5 for families on SNAP, then anywhere from $10 - $25  depending on your choosing / consideration of your household income and resources.
Plant Medicine Education
Arnica Flower
Rock Rose
Immediate Postpartum

  • Rescue Remedy flower essence 1 dropperful or 1 spray by mouth Q 5min for shaking or other need for comfort postpartum.
  • Rock Rose flower essence for fear prior to perineal repairs (great for the nervous midwife too!)
  • Arnica homeopathic pellets or liquid 1 dropperful or 3-4 pellets under tongue q5-15 min prn for swelling and trauma after birth
  • Lavender essential oil bath or Peppermint essential oil bath postpartum, especially if the mom needs to pee, she'll usually relax and go in the tub.

-Wise Woman Herbal for Midwives Cheat Sheet
Belinda Lashea, CNM
Nutrition by Shayai Lucero

What does my baby look like?
Welcome baby to the second trimester! Baby’s vital organs and structures are basically formed, but still immature. The bones are hardening as movement increases, but you may not be able to feel the movements. The eyes have moved to the front of the face, the lips can open and close and baby is now about 3 inches from crown to rump.
What do I eat?
Cravings and constipation may be happening to you! Your energy levels may increase as the nausea and fatigue eases. Baby’s growth is going to be rapid from this point on so a balanced diet will be essential. Intake of protein, iron, calcium and fiber are important for baby and for you. Protein needs will be higher in pregnancy for they help in baby’s immune system development and function. Food sources that have a good amount of protein and calcium include milk, eggs, cheese, rice, quinoa, beef and fish.

Apple Baked Pork Chops
2 medium apples, cored and sliced 2 tsp olive oil 4 (6 oz.) pork chops, center cut 1⁄2 cup water
2 tsp raisins (optional) 2 tsp brown sugar 2 tsp cider vinegar Dash pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the pork chops. Brown them on each side and then place in a pre-greased oven-safe pan. Layer the apples on topped of the pork chops.
Deglaze the skillet by adding 1⁄2 cup of water and stirring it around to pick up the remaining pork bits. Pour the oil/water mixture over the apples and pork chips. Sprinkle evenly with raisins (optional), cider vinegar, then brown sugar. Add pepper to taste.
Cover the dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 45 minutes.
Laverne Vander-Wright (Kidney Cooking)
2nd Annual Native Women's Business Summit
CWI had the opportunity to attend the Native Women's Business Summit this past April as one of "The Matriarchs Creative Marketplace". Thank you to all who attended and purchased an item from CWI .
San Ildefonso Health and Safety Fair
Our Office Manager, Kansas Begaye got to participate today in the San Ildefonso Health and Safety Fair for CWI. 
Making community connections is very important to CWI and we are happy to provide information on breastfeeding, women's health issues, and prenatal care.
Changing Woman Initiative Boutique
Visit our page and place an order with us at
Native American Prenatal Care Trends in NM
Dona International
Native Business Magazine
Every Mother Counts
Investing in Midwives
and Community Leaders
Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women
4600 Montgomery BLVD NE suite B202
Albuquerque, NM 87109

Indigenous Women Rise

Tewa Women United
912 Fairview Lane 
Espaniola, NM 87532

Young Women United
309 Gold st SW 
Santa Fe, NM 87102

Planned Parenthood 
730 st Michael’s dr Suite 4B 
Santa Fe, NM 87505
First Nations Community Healthsource
Zuni Clinic
5608 Zuni RD SE 
Albuquerque, NM 87108

Truman Clinic
625 Truman ST NE 
Albuquerque, NM 87110 

New Mexico Breastfeeding Coalition  
122 Tulane Dr SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

1807 2nd st Suite 76
Santa Fe, NM 87505 
Newsletter Editor: Kansas Begaye