Racha Tahani Lawler is a California licensed midwife, skilled in the midwifery traditions of her Southern U.S. and South African ancestors. She is the direct descendent of midwives, dating back four documented generations. Racha obtained her formal education in hospitals as a nursing student and at the historically accredited midwifery school Maternidad La Luz. She ultimately chose traditional midwifery without nursing school, and obtained her license to practice midwifery in 2004 after the home waterbirth of her first born son. All three of her children were born at home in water, post due date and they have attended well over 280 births either carried on her back or sitting at her side.
While successfully managing & operating her own homebirth midwifery practice, she also supported others in starting and operating birthing centers. In 2011 with the support of family & friends she opened “The Community Birth Center” where she would go on to serve hundreds who journeyed from all parts of Southern California to Los Angeles. Promoting the successful “Free Friday” program, inspired by Florida licensed midwife, mentor and friend, Jennie Joseph. Racha and supervised midwifery students provided well woman / well person exams, STD/STI testing and education, prenatal care, postpartum care, breastfeeding support & education, only charging for discounted lab fees.
After five years and a overwhelming desire/calling to reclaim traditional South African midwifery practices, Racha closed The Community Birth Center in 2016.
Still fighting everyday to reduce prematurity rates in descendents of Africans- who rank the highest in maternal & infant morbidity. Racha is the recipient of both California Congressional and Senate awards for her work as a community midwife. She’s acknowledged and awarded by the City of Los Angeles and local counsel member for her community health work. In 2013 was privileged to receive the “Midwife of the Year” award from the Doula’s Association of Southern California. In March of 2015, she received the Lillian Mobley Community Service Award for her commitment to serving the community- and missed her presentation while midwifing at a birth!
Racha works as a midwife attending to families in home birth, water birth, and occasionally labor support in hospital (montrice services), not only in Los Angeles California but world wide; flying as far as client’s need, from the East Coast to South Asia and everywhere in between. Firmly committed to providing midwifery care regardless of race, socio-economic status or gender, she is blessed to have attended well over 1,200 birth in the United States and abroad.
“Crimson Fig represents sacred reproductive health for all. The delicate and extraordinary cycle that is fertility, conception, pregnancy, birth and ultimately the cessation of this cycle.” -Racha
In 2017 Racha finally made her way to Katlehong, South Africa where she was able to be immersed in traditional Zulu healing & midwifery teachings lost in the African Diaspora and the U.S. slave trade. Reclaiming not only the historical first healers & midwifery teachings but specifically those of her South African ancestors.
On August 14th 2017 Racha Tahani Lawler was officially recognized by the South African government as a Traditional Healer, Sangoma and Umbelethisi/Midwife. She was humbly initiated into the Zulu nation and continues her Zulu and isiZulu language education. Maintaining her African and American midwifery matriarchy birth right.