Clare Hughes, MCC's Senior Director of Administrative Operations, found MCC shortly after giving birth to her first child. After experiencing a challenging birth and difficult transition back to work, she felt called to provide support for others during the same time in their lives.
Direct service staff are the beating heart of our organization, and they are powered by administrative staff who are equally passionate in their support of MCC's mission. Clare and her team make sure the direct service staff have everything they need to carry out their work.
For Clare, birthing with dignity begins with recognizing the duality of birth. It is primal and "at the same time incredibly vulnerable and incredibly powerful."
To honor this duality, birthing people must be trusted, listened to, and have their experiences validated by everyone on their birth team.
Clare's own birth stories highlight this poignantly. During her first labor and delivery, she felt dismissed and talked down to by providers who put more faith in the machines attached to her than her voice.
Thankfully, she was able to flip the script with her second birth. Ultimately, Clare needed to have a scheduled c-section, but she felt heard and cared for during the whole procedure. This gave her the sense of autonomy and ownership that was lacking during her first birth.
As as white women, Clare is cognizant of her privilege, especially in birthing spaces where women of color, and especially Black women, often face dangerous mistreatment and worse health outcomes. Part of her "why" for working at MCC is knowing that if she struggled during her labor, there are others who are forced to overcome even more obstacles to birth with dignity. It is important to her to dedicate her talents and time to help overcome those inequities. As she tells her children, "Mommy helps the people who help parents take care of babies."