Photoshoot of Antoinette Ankrah


Meet Antoinette. She is our first bump in Toronto Canada, our first international Bump. She actually was days away from meeting her little girl when she had her photoshoot with The Melanin Bump. She gave birth at Toronto Birth Centre and this was her first pregnancy. 
Antoinette is an extremely creative person and loves all forms of Art. She is a vocal teacher and a performer. In her free time, she loves to do musical jams and be creative. She also loves karaoke performing it and watching. She runs a small bakery called Edible Notes Pastries, where she specialize in making customized cakes. Her doula recommend the photo collection. 
There were several things that stopped her from getting maternity photos. For a long time, she wasn’t feeling good about the pregnancy due to the circumstances surrounding it. When she found out she was pregnant, she had been out of a job for approximately two months and was feeling very insecure about her financial security. It was her Doula who suggested that she try the photo collection as a way to boost her spirits and to feel more positively about her baby. She’d been wanting to do maternity photos but when she looked into it, it was quite pricey and could not afford it.
Antoinette felt she should receive a maternity shoot from The Melanin Bump because she really felt it would help her to feel good about herself and her baby. She’d been feeling quite down and felt like this could be a win for her and her daughter. She would also love her daughter to see her mother in a positive light and feel proud to see her mother looking beautiful. She would also be happy if she could inspire other mothers to hang in there or to deal with issues that they are facing during their pregnancy and then their motherhood.
Here’s a few responses from Antoinette’s interview. 
Why should contributors support The Melanin Bump and its participants? 
I feel that this is a very important project although it may seem trivial, the way a mother feels during her pregnancy can really affect the outcome of her pregnancy and the life of her and her child. I feel that black women are underrepresented in every facet of media including motherhood and a positive light. Support to projects like the melanin bump will help future Generations see themselves as beautiful during all stages of life especially pregnancy.
How do you feel The Melanin Bump can help expectants of color? 
The Melanin Bump is already doing an exceptional job at helping expectants of colour. To take it further The Melanin Bump can create social events and support groups that are exclusively for expectants of colour. And connect us with health care providers and mental health professionals that are also women of colour.
Do you feel The Melanin Bump is a necessary project? If not/so, how is it necessary? 
The Melanin Bump is a necessary project because it helps women of colour see themselves in the media in a positive light. There are so much negative things said about black women and this is one of the few projects that counters that narrative.
What is something you’re looking forward to experiencing with your baby? 
I’m looking forward to see her face and watching her develop as a person. I am also looking forward to watching her discover the world and the beauty in it.
What are concerns or fears you may have surrounding your birth? and your journey as a Mom? 
One of my fears is that I will not be able to handle giving birth or that something could go wrong. I am scared that I will not be able to provide the life I want to for her financially and emotionally.
Do you feel expectants of color are supported during their pregnancy, labor, and birth? If not, how could the be better supported? 
I do not feel that mothers of colour are supported during pregnancy , labour and birth. In the US black mothers face a very high mortality rate during pregnancy and labour. Mothers of colour need health care providers to see them as human and treat them with dignity and respect. They need to believe their pain and address their concerns seriously. Mothers of colour should also be able to get care from people who look like them. 
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