Only 300 copies of the Radical Doula Guide left

April 7, 2014

Cover of Radical Doula Guide

About a month back I had to set up a new online store for the Radical Doula Guide, as my old one decided to no longer offer the service. You can now order copies of the guide here. Same deal, similar credit card processing, new look and URL!

I’ve sold over 1100 copies since it published a year and a half ago. I’ve been blown away by the interest and support for it–so a major thank you to everyone who has bought a copy, or suggested it as a resource. I sincerely hope it’s been of use.

I have about 300 copies left. Haven’t decided what I’ll do when they run out–whether I’ll order a new run to keep selling print copies, create a digital version for download, etc. But if you have been wanting to get a copy, now is a good time to order one.

If you have links to the old Radical Doula Guide store on your website, consider updating them. This page is a good reference as it will always be updated with the most recent information.

About these ads

Radical Doula Profiles: Nikki

January 15, 2014

This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Go here to provide your responses to the profile questions and I’ll include you!

Nikki smiling with long hair

About Nikki: My name is Nikki and I’m brand new to the doula game! I’m training as a birth doula and serve Warren (PA), Erie (PA), and Chautauqua (NY) counties. I became a doula for a plethora of reasons. I’ve always been an activist for women’s rights. I’ve known too many women walk into the hospital planning to breastfeed, to have a natural birth, to avoid a cesarean, only to walk out with a bottle fed baby that, while beautiful and magnificent, was not given the chance at the birth both mom and baby deserved. No one should fear birth. We’ve been doing it for eons. I want to welcome babies into the world. I want to see them take their first breath and have their mother, alert and overjoyed, gaze into that babies eyes and know that this is her world now. I don’t want anyone to suffer the misery of not getting the experience they deserve.

Out of all of this, I was inspired to search for a way to help. I created Birth Essentials Doula Services as a way to spread the love the mothers and babies. Helping women who may otherwise not be able to afford a doula or even know what a doula is! You can find Birth Essentials at facebook.com/pabirthessentials, on twitter @BE_Doula, or our website.

What inspired you to become a doula?

Years ago, I became enamored with the birth process, I considered the life of a doula, but that it was far-fetched and impossible. Fast forward to more recent times. I suffered a devastating miscarriage of my first pregnancy, at first I wanted only to wallow in my sadness, but, for the sake of my lost child, I knew I had to do something better. I discovered Intuitive Childbirth, the program through which I am certifying. I knew that this was something I had to do. I needed to ensure that, although my family did not expand the way we expected, other women were not stripped of their choices and their autonomy. I never want anyone to feel so helpless, whether in the midst of a loss or on what should be the most joyous occasion they will ever experience. Every birth, every mother, and every baby is precious, unique, and deserves the best.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?

To be a radical doula, to me, means to never stop pushing (no pun intended). No matter where we’re practicing, who we’re working with, or what kind of obstacles might get in our way, a good doula takes care of her clients. She supports her community and educates women who need her. She doesn’t turn away a client because of a lack of funds, she stays up all day and night, sacrificing her own time to ensure that every woman that needs her can have her at their side.

I believe that I am destined to be a radical doula.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?

Trust.

Trust your body, trust your instincts, trust yourself.

Nobody knows what’s better for you than you do. You may need some assistance along the way. Sometimes it may feel like you’re never going to make it out alive. That’s where people like myself come in. That’s why there are midwives and OBs and doula’s to help you through every part of this experience. More than anything, you need encouragement. Nobody should ever make you feel inadequate. Ina May has said it and I believe it is true. Your body is NOT a lemon.

My whole philosophy on life, in all venues, is about trusting yourself. Doing what’s best for you without stepping on too many toes. Do You.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?

I love being an advocate. I love empowering women. I love that I can be a source of support in what can be a beautiful, yet very difficult time. Being a doula is about support and love. That’s all I want from this.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?

Obstetricians are for complicated pregnancy! Midwives are for the majority of women who are perfectly capable of giving birth on their own terms!

The United States has this so backwards! Birth is not scary or inherently dangerous. Why is it okay to show an inaccurate, TERRIFYING scene of a cesarean birth on tv, but not a natural, loving, peaceful birth? Women need exposure to the truth. They need more women like us Radical Doulas to show them the way.

We are not broken, pregnancy is not an illness. We can’t afford to believe these falsehoods anymore.


Radical Doula Profiles: Lisa Artis

January 8, 2014

This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Go here to provide your responses to the profile questions and I’ll include you!

Lisa lying down with braids

About Lisa: I am originally from Washington D.C. but now reside in South Florida where I have been doing doula work for over five years now. I am a mother to two wonderful girls, an English major and creative writer of almost everything under the sun; namely birth! I enjoy traveling, spending time with my family and friends, cooking, and attending poetry readings. I most recently completed two ebooks on Amazon on personal healing. One was about the stillbirth of my son in 2009 and how I found healing through writing and the other was about the rejection of my father after 30 years of estrangement. Next to birth work, writing is a true calling for me and I often write about my experiences in the birthing community.

I can be found on facebooktwitter and last but certainly not least, through my blog!

What inspired you to become a doula?

I believe my inspiration to become a doula has been within me since I was a child! I have always loved new babies, the beautiful energy that exudes from a pregnant woman and being present in their lives. Before I knew there was a name for women who assist pregnant and birthing women, I made it my business to be there for my friends who had just given birth. A close girlfriend of mine was my doula during the birth of my second child and it was then that I knew I wanted to inquire further about becoming a doula myself.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?

I identify with the term “radical doula” with an innate knowing that since this is my calling; I must be radical about what I am doing; sharing with other women, supporting them through their own personal journey and knowing that my work is a reflection of how much I love being in the midst of birth and the postpartum period.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?

My doula philosophy is to love and support mothers from all walks of life; there are no boundaries for me when it comes to being a doula. When I am asked to join a woman at her birth or afterward; I see a new mother who I have been honored to accompany and I take this position of nurturing her seriously from day one.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?

My favorite thing about being a doula is the connections that I make with mothers and families. Looking in a mama’s eyes as I hold her hands and encourage her during labor is priceless. I have never left a birth without shedding tears of joy; watching intently as baby makes his or her way into the world; it’s a spiritual experience for me; always. Watching mama and baby connect for the first time is so energizing to me; it’s truly unforgettable.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?

I would most definitely have more positive images of birth in the media instead of what we are typically fed. Birthing women cry, growl, laugh, and some even experience orgasm! They are all not strapped to beds screaming for drugs and wishing they could be doing anything other than giving birth.


Radical Doula Profiles: Luna Wood

November 27, 2013

This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Go here to provide your responses to the profile questions and I’ll include you!

Luna smiling with long dark hair

About Luna: I am a Panamanian American woman and mamacita, who was doing doula work before I even knew what a doula was. I am located in Austin, Texas and have been serving women for 20 years as a doula, massage therapist, teacher, feminist and more…… I also rent labor and birth tubs to help bring more water babies into the world and support mothers to give birth in a nurturing environment. Find Luna on the web here.

What inspired you to become a doula?

My mother is a native spanish speaker and did not speak good english when she gave birth to me. She struggled to communicate and was misunderstood and ultimately butchered with an uneccessary cesarean in the hospital. I wanted to do something to help immigrants in my community and got involved in a volunteer doula program who served immigrants and native spanish speakers who had little or no support. This was an AMAZING experience for me. I did my own soul searching as a result of being at births and was able to heal my own birth trauma and ultimately heal generational darkness that followed my ancestors and many women in my family. This practice continues to be a lifelong journey of growing and healing for me.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?

Because I am not your typical bland doula. I have my own flavor! I am a proud Panamanian American Lesbiana. I have felt alienated for speaking out against racism and homophobia in the doula community here in Austin. Slowly more diverse doulas are seeping into the community but we are still fragmented and invisible. I have made a commitment to train doulas of color to reflect the population here and all over the country. There are not enough of us out there. I was very excited when I found Radical Doula or any doulas of color forums and organizations since we are so divided and underserved. I am committed and wish to see more diversity in the doula communities worldwide!!!

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?

I am committed to making the world more family and baby friendly. My job is to create a sacred space around families to keep negative energies out of the path of entrance of amazing souls. I believe the imprint of what happens to the mom and baby (and family) at birth stays with them their whole life. This imprint creates life long patterns. These patterns need to be positive ones.

Being a doula is a radical act in itself assisting women to choose what they want. It is an act of feminism to make the space for a woman to be listened to and support their decisions and choices.

This is the main reason I am a doula. I am a woman’s woman!

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?

I love how each birth is different. I have witnessed over 500 births and none of them have been the same. Like every personality, every soul , every pregnancy, and every birth is different. This keeps my life interesting and new every day.

I love the way a birth keeps me in the moment. It’s like a meditation. Massaging a pregnant mama and baby is a beautiful experience. I am honored to be invited into one of the most personal, intimate experiences in a woman and her family’s life.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?

I would change the system that doesn’t allow mother’s on medicaid to decide where their babies are born. I would take Homophobia out of clinics and hospitals and make every partner and family member involved feel completely welcome and wanted. I would take violence out of the pregnancy and birth experience of every mom, baby ,and family and much more………


Radical Doula Profiles: Simone Snyder

November 20, 2013

Simone smiling with long earrings

This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Go here to provide your responses to the profile questions and I’ll include you!

About Simone: I started working as a doula and childbirth educator in Santa Fe, NM and I am now living and working back in New Jersey. I am also a massage therapist, placenta specialist, and Dancing for Birth instructor. I have two amazing boys. One was born in a hospital in NJ and the other was born at home in NM. Two very, very different experiences. In addition to my birthwork I am also a Dating Abuse Prevention Educator. I work with a doula partner and we can be contacted through our website www.douanj.com. One day I will also be a midwife.

What inspired you to become a doula?

I was inspired by doula work a few years before I ever found out I was pregnant. When I began my pregnancy journey I hired a doula before I found a doctor or told anyone I was pregnant! There was just something about the idea of being able to support and empower women that was appealing. I had NO idea it would lead me to where I am today. My hospital birth experience was less then ideal to say the least. I didn’t realize just how traumatizing it was until I had experienced a homebirth. It took me a few years after my first son was born to actually start working as a doula but it has been full steam ahead since then, it has been about six years since I attended my first birth. I eat, sleep, and breathe maternal and child health.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?

I think I identified with the word radical all of my life. I have always had this radical spirit-the kind of spirit that gets other people to say “oh boy there she goes again.” I just can’t help it-I see something that is important to me and that is it. For so long I felt like I had to walk this fine line. Many doula trainings out there teach you to be the opposite of radical, to be as middle ground as you can possibly be. I realized that is not me. The concept of putting what I associate with the word radical and what I associated with the word doula together was a huge eye opener. The term radical doula helped me to realize I could put all that I am passionate about together, to begin to work all along the spectrum. I think it also offers the ability to connect your political beliefs to the work you love. I have never been given the freedom to do that before.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?

It is all about the same thing…

It is about choice. It is about education. It is about information. It is about equality. It is about empowerment. And it is about the truth and not believing everything you are told. It is about asking questions.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?

Watching a woman really come in to her own power throughout the process. The earlier we get to work with mamas the better. Knowing that what she did was amazing, and knowing that she could do it all by herself. Knowing that her body knew how to grow, birth and feed a baby. Watching that sense of trust and faith unfold. Then being able to watch that carry over into parenting-it is priceless!

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?

FEAR! The fear women are fed on a daily basis. If we could get rid of that fear I think things would be vastly different then they are now.


Radical Doula Profiles: Alexandrea Finney

November 13, 2013

This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Go here to provide your responses to the profile questions and I’ll include you!

Alexandrea smiling wearing yellow headbandAbout Alexandrea Finney: Hanging out in the far west suburbs of Chicago, Saint Charles Illinois to be exact, I’m a slightly obsessed chicken keeper, garden grower, wanna-be-foodie picture taker, mother of one incredible ASD diagnosed kiddo, and lover of this messy journey called life. I hang out online at www.facebook.com/alexandreafinney. Drop in and say hi, I’d love to meet you!

What inspired you to become a doula?

My journey to being a doula has found me kicking and resisting most of the way. I still have a hard time defining myself as a doula because regular on-call birth assistance does not fit in my current lifestyle and that seems to be the classical definition of “doula”. The call to support women, however, to travel with them and to stand at the end of the bridges when they travel alone, has been irresistible in my life.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?

When I first heard the term “radical doula” I thought, “Yes! That’s it!”. While birth is one of the “deepest drinks” many women take in life, I can’t separate it from pregnancy, fertility, menses, loss, abortion, sexuality, menopause . . . life. For me, my doula work involves late night calls to mamas far away while my daughter sleeps, long Facebook chats where we knit together community with women who don’t have it locally, coffee shop get togethers about fertility planning, and hand holding through deep, deep grief. I hope at some point my work does involve grabbing a bag and running out the door to attend a birth, but it includes a lot more than that too.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?

I believe that through shaming and ignorance, we have lost a valuable understanding of ourselves as women. I believe that regaining the knowledge and the mystery of our bodies changes us and changes the world.

As a queer mama I have seen how shame and marginalization of the LGBT community has torn away our confidence in our bodies and its abilities. Gender queer and transexual men and women have almost no recognition or support in the birthing community. I politically support and fight for the right to fully show up in the world. Wrapping my arms around my community, finding resources and educating, and taking back full ownership of our reproductive, sexual selves is an act of political activism for me.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?

My favorite thing is watching women evolve, “being with” as they come into a fuller actualization of who they are. I’ll never get tired of watching that happen.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?

I would hold up a mirror that would show every pregnant and birthing human being their own deity, the breathtakingly beautiful person they are.


Radical Doula Profiles: Karly Santiago

November 6, 2013

Photo of Karly with glasses and scarfThis is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Go here to provide your responses to the profile questions and I’ll include you!

About Karly Santiago: I am a birth doula based in Long Beach, CA. I started out my earlier career wanting to be a make up artist but my life had another calling! I have an amazing man that I call mine and two little girls that are the epitome of rascals! I believe in informed choices, loving support, and a hand to hold. Your birth experience matters! You can find me on the web: www.picklesandicecreamdoula.com on Facebook: www.facebook.com/picklesandicecreamdoula or on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/doulakarly

What inspired you to become a doula?

The birth of my second daughter really changed my perspective on giving birth. I felt like I could conquer the world after that experience. I wanted other women to feel the way I did. No matter what their birthing choices, everyone should be treated with respect and allowed to make their own choices for their body.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?

I identify with being a radical doula because I believe information is power! We need to take back our bodies and experiences. Women should have every right to informed consent, letting their bodies labor naturally, and choices when it comes to their baby. Wouldn’t it be radical if every woman had the support and respect she deserves?!

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?

My absolute favorite thing is being able to witness the moment that a woman becomes a mother and a man becomes a father. It doesn’t matter if its the first time or the 5th time, the moment is pure magic! The surprise and love that is all over their face the first time they lay eyes on their sweet babe is like no other. I count it a privilege to be in that moment with them.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?

I would want to change the way that others speak to pregnant women. The negativity and horror stories are not helping to further the amazing thing that is birthing a baby. We have to realize that just because one woman had an unfortunate experience, doesn’t make that the norm. We need to grow and learn from our past, but not dwell there. Instead of scaring a pregnant woman, why not tell her what you learned from your experience? It might help the both of you grow and build a bond that we should have as women. Sisterhood is a powerful tool, especially when we rally around a pregnant mama!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,666 other followers

%d bloggers like this: