Christina Elmore, or rather her role as Condola on HBO’s Insecure, has undoubtedly ruffled a few fans’ feathers over the current and past season. And although her life doesn’t completely mimic the character she plays, one similarity they share is a recent birth to a baby boy. Opening up about her second pregnancy, Elmore recently revealed why she opted for a Black midwife team this time around, saying, “These women looked like my mom and my aunties. I felt safe.”
Elmore, who recently gave birth to baby Solomon in January 2021, delivered her child at around the same time that Insecure’s cast began filming their fifth and final season. Sharing how she could relate to her character on the series, the 34-year-old actress said in an Insecure: Wine Down episode, “It was really cool actually to sort of be in parallel experiences, but very different experiences.”
“I was very tired. Condola was very tired. I had a little extra baby weight. Condola had a little extra baby weight.” she added.
Revealing that she discovered her pregnancy on the same day that George Floyd died at the hands of police, Elmore told Women’s Health, “I was bringing another Black life in this country, and I wanted the experience to be different for him. I wanted him to be caught by Black hands that would be able to give me the care I deserved.”
The California native then decided on Allegra Hill and Kimberly Durdin to aid her pregnancy and delivery. Both are Black midwives from Kindred Space Los Angeles, a birthing center that offers childbirth classes and midwife services to parents-to-be.
African-American women have historically experienced a higher maternal mortality rate when compared to other races. According to the CDC, “Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women,” leading to widespread concern and essential conversations surrounding Black maternal health.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more Black women have elected to deliver their babies via an at-home birth instead of a traditional hospital setting in hopes of having a safer delivery experience, California Healthline reported. With other races of women also looking into home births and midwife services, National Black Midwives Alliance co-founder Jamarah Amani told the outlet about the recent boom in clientele, “Every midwife I’m talking to has seen their practice double or sometimes triple in the wake of COVID,”
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“I quickly noticed a difference in my care. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I started having some hypertension.” Elmore shared her experience with Women’s Health. “So, my midwives jumped into action. They came over to my house every morning and evening to check my blood pressure. They also started connecting me to other Black providers, including an acupuncturist who was able to do cupping to help calm me and bring my blood pressure down a little.”
On the impact of having a team of people that looked like her, the Twenties star continued, “Labor is hard for everyone, but I knew that I could focus on that, and they would be attuned to my needs. I was lucky that my first birth had that, too. But this time, I was looking across a room that resembled me. These women looked like my mom and my aunties. I felt safe.”