“I have taken trauma and turned it into triumph,” says Brittany “Tru” Kellman, founder of Jamaa Birth Village in Ferguson, Mo. At the age of 13, Kellman found herself in an unfamiliar city, running away from a violent home, and pregnant. At 37 weeks into her pregnancy, a physician decided to induce her labor without explanation. When she got to the hospital, she was further traumatized at the hands of her care providers.
“No one looked me in the eye. No one explained anything. People were coming in and out, sticking their fingers and hands anywhere and everywhere,” she recalls. The only time someone did look her in the eye was after she expressed concern about having an emergency cesarean section. A nurse looked at her and yelled, “Do you want your baby to die? Your baby is going to die if you don’t let us take you back there.”