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Radical Doula Profiles: adrienne maree brown

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 adrienne: adrienne maree is a doula, writer, facilitator and artist living in detroit, mi. adriennemaree@gmail.com.

What inspired you to become a doula?

my sister started having babies in natural ways and the beauty and power of it blew my mind. at the same time folks were asking me to doula for them. i thought as a non-parent i couldn’t do it. then i was the first responder to a woman attacked behind my home and in sitting with her til the ambulance came it clicked for me: being with people through these moments of transition simply requires being deeply present to what is, and expanding their capacity to be present. so i apprenticed with an experienced doula and have been doing doula work ever since.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?

i believe in what humans can do, in the power of our bodies and our communities to create and sustain life. too many of the institutional processes around reproduction and parenting are disempowering, unsacred, not aligned with the miraculous gift we have. so i see part of my work as a way to intervene in social systems that are losing humanity, and reclaim humanity one person at a time.

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

i believe everyone (all economic backgrounds, gender identities, abilities, races, everyone) going through any of the processes related to reproduction and parenting – trying to get pregnant, adopting, abortion, giving birth, unintended pregnancy loss, post-partum time, etc – should have support and access to determining how to go through the process with health, dignity and – where appropriate – joy.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?

so far, it’s the opportunity to witness transformation. i get to be close to folks at one of the most important moments of their lives, and reflect all the strength i see in them – it’s healing for me.

If you could change one thing about birth, what would it be?

that the default would be natural births at home. that hospitals, c-sections, and medical interventions would be seen as rare aspects of births only turned to for emergencies.

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