Asteir Bey, RN, IBCLC

VBI Co-Director


Asteir Bey lives in Syracuse New York where she trains, mentors and supports community-based birthworkers to care for parenting and birthing families in Black, African and Ingenious communities in Central New York. She is the Co-Founder and Community Education & Policy Advisor for the Sankofa Reproductive Health and Healing Center, an official Perinatal Safe Spot. This Healing Center is a partnership between Village Birth International, Doula 4 a Queen and zenG Wellness. With programmatic guidance from Midwife Jennie Joseph of Commonsense Birth, the Perinatal Safe Spot model of care was implemented to ensure informed decision making, easy access and support for people entering reproductive healthcare

Asteir joined VBI in 2010 to formalize community-led responses to oppressive conditions faced by birthing families in Syracuse. Along with her partner, Aimee Brill, VBI founded the first Community Based Doula Program in Syracuse. VBI’s local partnership in Central New York serves to support, fund and uplift Black, African, Latinx and Indigenous Birth workers through trainings, advocacy, education, policy reform and birth justice activism.

In 2018, after many years of advocating for living wage reimbursement for doulas, she co-authored and collaborated with Ancient Song Doula Services and Every Mother Counts, on a paper entitled: Advancing Birth Justice: Community-Based Doula Models of Care for Ending Racial Disparities which centers the vital role that community-based doula models need to have in order to ensure success with Medicaid reimbursement.

Asteir is committed to liberatory practices of care and self-determination that families of African descent have used for generations to sustain and heal. Her personal practice centers the belief that full-spectrum birthwork is informed by the ways we connect to the Divine while honoring the sacredness of our full, reproductive-selves across the lifespan. Asteir believes there is liberation in birth. She serves with a commitment to improving lives in her community through people-centered healthcare reform, reproductive justice and birthwork rooted in tradition.