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 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………