About these ads
 

Radical Doula Profiles: Amy Haaf

June 4, 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!

About Amy: Hi. My name is Amy. I’m a newly trained postpartum doula. I have three children ages 4, 16 and 18 years old. Besides being a busy mom and wife with children with a vastly varying age span. I am also passionate about many things such as breastfeeding and a positive birth experience for all women. I practice attachment parenting and believe in Waldorf and other natural teaching styles. I hold many hats as an elimination communication mentor through Diaper free Baby, a Certified Lactation Counselor and a WIC peer counselor. I practiced self weaning and baby led solids with all my children. I can be reached via email @ amysppdoula@aol.com. I am listed through Birth Columbia and also have an individual website. I also have a Facebook page called Amy’s Postpartum and Lactation Services. I offer a bevy of services to women through pregnancy as well as postpartum. Areas served: Columbia County, NY and Western MA.

What inspired you to become a doula?
I have always felt drawn to birth and motherhood. I enjoy being able to empower women through helping them before and after their babies are born. Working with families is what I have always liked doing. I had positive birth experiences and help after my first son was born. I feel that I would have benefited greatly from a postpartum doula after my second and third children were born.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I feel that even with my first child I was drawn to very natural approaches despite what my peers believed in. Even at twenty two as a mom I believed in natural parenting, breastfeeding, no pacifiers, no bottles, baby wearing, co sleeping, baby led solids, elimination communication and much more.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
I believe in all woman having a positive birth experience and have been particularly following the prison birth project and the different states that are passing anti shackling laws. I am a very caring and non judgemental person, much like my political beliefs.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
I enjoy helping whole families adapt and well one new babies into their families.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I think that women need to always remember that it is their birth and their baby. Practicing skin to skin after baby’s birth and to let baby’s natural instincts and bonds help her with breastfeeding and closeness. I would say that the moments and hours after birth need to be handled with the utmost respect with as little medical intervention ( unless faced with an emergency situation) as possible to let the fourth trimester unfold naturally to ensure mom, baby and family are savoring these precious moments as baby is introduced to the world outside mom’s womb.

About these ads

Radical Doula Profiles: Kaity Molé

May 28, 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!

Kaity wearing red shirt sitting in front of carAbout Kaity: Kaity sees herself today as a product of the struggle to accept and love despite the obstacles of conflict and despair. Kaity grew up as a military kid and moved around every 3 years, she doesn’t have roots and isn’t sure she wants them. She came face to face with numerous violent and abusive encounters throughout her life and has struggled deeply with depression, dissociation and the long path of healing from trauma. She speaks French and loves apples, safe spaces and her kooky queer community. She’s currently a nursing student at Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. She hopes to continue on to work in public health, nurse-midwifery and sexual assault/violence research. She’s learning to let the light in and to give back and pass onward all the good that comes her way.

What inspired you to become a doula?
I’ve always been interested in birth work, but probably in my late teens, as I was discovering feminism and intersectionality/race and class conflict in America and heard about being a doula, it seemed like such an important concept. Child-bearing people in America have a long history of being silenced and controlled. For there to be an advocate present, someone who can care for you and support you and help cultivate the space and experience you want for your birth…it sounds great! Haha. I wish I had a doula for everyday life….
I see it vitally important that all people feel safe, validated and cared for in their health experiences and like THEY are in control. I think that one of the biggest obstacles to good health and positive birth experiences is the wall that’s there between the medical institution and minority groups, whether it’s people of color, the poor, the queer or trans community etc.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I identify with the term radical doula because I see being a doula/birth and repro work as an inherently political thing. The ideas and practice surrounding birth work (and other care) in hospitals needs a massive overhaul and a healthy dose of patient empowerment. I believe in giving doula care with all intersections of people’s lives taken into account, particularly trauma history, race/experiences of racism, gender experiences, sexuality, orientation, ableism, self-concept etc. Everyone who gives birth is going to have a different experience that they’re bringing to the table, not everyone even identifies as a “woman”. These are really important things for doulas to be aware of and to nurture! As a queer birth worker with a long trauma history, I want to be a safe space for child-bearing people and to help empower them and amplify their voice in their experience.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
My doula philosophy definitely is grounded in empowerment. I kind of went into this above, but particularly with birth and the creation of another life: people should do whatever they want to do.  I’m pursuing nurse-midwifery licensure mainly for reasons of insurance/Medicaid covering CNMs and the populations that I want to be accessible to, but for larger issues of birth work/midwife licensure and legal restrictions put on childbearing people, I think it’s bullshit. People should give birth/not give birth/do whatever they want with their bodies! Medical control of all people and particularly marginalized bodies needs to STOP.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
Oh man. I still get tripped out when I see that little baby head come out and I still get all the endorphins, which is pretty great. I generally love everything about birth work. But probably the relationship that I create with the people/families I work with, it’s really something special. To be involved in such an intimate event, you become spiritual family. When I leave I’m just so honored and thankful that I got to witness such amazing badassery.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
Definitely the limits and restrictions that are put on childbearing people. I would also really love to just annihilate all the crap that poor women, women of color and incarcerated women get for reproducing and how their motherhood and pregnant experience is shamed or devalued.


Radical Doula Profiles: Kayla Q Frawley

May 14, 2014

Kayla smiling, lying on a bed with two other people

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 Kayla: Currently living in Austin Texas, Kayla is from South Minneapolis, and has attended births in Flores, Guatemala, El Paso, Texas, and Austin Texas. She is a yoga instructor, dancer, slam poet, and a student Midwife. She was raised by a social worker and a community developer in a progressive and segregated city. She spent her earlier years working with poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, collaborating with Philsbury House in Minneapolis as well as Kensington Welfare Rights Union in Kensington PA. After having had the opportunity to work with different communities in arenas of women’s health such as resource management, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and sex work she realized she wanted to be able to have more of an affect on women’s reproductive health. After doing her midwifery training in El Paso at Maternidad la Luz in 2012-2013 and attending dozens of clients she moved to Austin for a position at Austin Area Birth Center. She had the opportunity to co-facilitate the Cultural Competency class to the students of MLL Fall 2013. Behind her midwifery training and passion resides her devotion to addressing whiteness/white privilege/racism/oppressive practices in the medical and midwifery world. She is developing herself as an ally and desires to see more white women sharing dialogue about such issues.

What inspired you to become a doula?
Health Disparities.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I identify with the term radical doula because sometimes in the midst of midwives and doulas I feel like my language and passion need to be walking on egg shells. I identify with the term radical doula cause I am a white woman learning what is means to be a white midwife who wanted to become a midwife because of health disparities and the complexities of that identification. I consider myself a radical doula because I am always intersecting race/class/sexual orientation with birth experience because we can not be separated from our political bodies. I consider myself a radical doula because I see blatant racism practiced in all birthing environments I have worked in, in all institutions I have studied midwifery under and among preceptors, students, and myself throughout my pathway to midwifery-which in itself maybe isn’t radical-but realizing anti-racism work is just as important as contributing to decreasing health disparities and advoca ting for safe just birth. I also identify with being a radical doula in that I offer full-spectrum services with a main focus to meet individuals where they are in their reproductive health and offer the support they need with their individual care.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
My doula/midwifery philosophy is looking at an individual wholely including her life experience, her political, sexual and spiritual identity as well as their desires, and needs so that they are met with the right support to give them the most control they can have over their pregnancy, birth, postpartum, miscarriage, abortion, and reproductive care. My doula/midwifery philosophy are not separate from my broader political beliefs.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
To be apart of individuals gaining more control or awareness of their bodies, minds and spirits, practicing anti-oppression work in the reproductive health arena and knowing that along everyone’s lineage there was always a midwife.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
Free quality care for all women that need it in the full spectrum arena, and to enforce on-going white privilege conferences specific to midwifery and reproductive health to all white individuals who desire to go into reproductive health.


Radical Doula Profiles: Rachel Helfenstens

May 7, 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!

Photo of Rachel with long dark hairAbout Rachel: I’m a DONA trained & certified Birth Doula CD(DONA), Full Circle trained & certified independent placenta encapsulation specialist CIES(FCP), and currently working on my Postpartum Doula & CBE certifications through BAI. I’m also the Main Coordinator for the Jacksonville, Florida chapter of Improving Birth, Leader of the Northeast Florida chapter of the Peaceful Parenting Network, and a Co-Director of Intact Florida. I also volunteer with Operation Special Delivery & The Inn Ministry. I service the Jacksonville area & surrounding areas (St. Augustine, Middleburg,Orange Park, the very south of Georgia, etc.) and sometimes Volusia County as well. Se habla español, falo português. Email: ilithyiaslove@gmail.com website, Facebook page.  Areas Served: Jacksonville, FL & surrounding areas

What inspired you to become a doula?
My journey on becoming a Doula began with my personal birth & postpartum experiences. I was completely alone and uneducated with my first and had a horrible traumatizing birth. Having a Doula with my second made me feel empowered & in control even though I wound up with an emergency cesarean. Soon after I realized the passion I have for birth and now strive to give women an empowering birth experience!

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I identify with the term radical for the pure fact that I am behind my clients, their choices, and their beliefs 100%. I witness for them, I advocate for them. It is THEIR moment, and no one else’s. I treat no client different regardless of WHO they are. Race, sexual orientation, body type, religious views, etc…there is NO reason to treat them differently for it. Does a transgender [person] need to be treated differently and receive different medical care as compared to a cis woman? NO! Does an LGBTQ couple require different medical care during L&D compared to a cis couple? NO! Do pagan couples deserve no respect compared to Christian couples? Or Muslims? Or Jews? Or anyone else for that matter? NO! Every client deserves the same treatment, the same respect, and the same knowledge of their options & legal rights & strength.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
My philosophy in life, not just Doula work, is that everyone deserves to be treated with respect & basic human rights. I respect everyone’s religious views, right to bodily autonomy, freedom, right to religious freedom, right to live whomever they choose, etc. Not everyone requires, wants, or winds up with the same type of birth. Each birth is unique, as is each child, each pregnancy….each person.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
My favorite thing about being a Doula by far is being there to watch such a BEAUTIFUL moment! The birth of a child is nothing short of miraculous! And the fact that these families have graciously allowed me to be there and WITNESS such a POWERFUL and INTIMATE moment makes me feel blessed. I am able to witness the POWER women have. It’s simply amazing!

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, it would be that every pregnant woman is aware of ALL her options, all the pros/con’s/benefits/risks of each option, and of her rights. So in then each woman feels more in control of her birth and in turn is EMPOWERED by this most powerful and sacred experience…the birth of her child(ren).


Radical Doula Profiles: Carlyn Mast

April 30, 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!

Photo of Carlyn, sitting cross-legged in the grassAbout Carlyn: I am a birth doula serving women in the Baltimore City area. In addition to my doula endeavors, I am also a graduate student focusing on maternal and infant health at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Similar to how I approach my role as a social worker, I value empathy, informed consent, social justice, self determination and respect in my doula practice. My email is carlyn.mast@umaryland.edu.

What inspired you to become a doula?
After graduating from college, I began working for a nonprofit women’s health clinic in Baltimore. During the two years that I worked in the clinic, I saw how factors such as race, gender and socioeconomic status effect women’s ability to access quality healthcare. The role that doulas play in addressing inequalities in prenatal care and the birthing experience is a powerful step in the right direction.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I consider myself a ‘radical doula’ because I view doula work as a form of activism and empowerment. I have found that there is a disturbing disparity in access to doula care based on income in Baltimore City. As a doula, I volunteer my services to women who wouldn’t otherwise have access. Throughout my career, I also plan to infuse my clinical social practice with my work as a doula.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
I believe that all women should have equal access to quality healthcare, including doula care. In Baltimore City, the neighborhood where you live is in effective indicator of maternal and infant mortality. I believe that this in unacceptable. There is a fairly large volume of research supporting the benefits of doula care and I do not believe that factors such as race and socio economic factors, amongst others, should impede women’s ability to access care.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I would change the whole system! To give a more specific answer, I would make it mandatory that medicaid and private insurance reimburse for doula care.


Radical Doula Profiles: Iresha Picot

April 23, 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!

Iresha wearing a dress, holding a babyIresha Picot is a birth and full-spectrum doula and peer breastfeeding counselor in Philadelphia, by way of Virginia. Iresha has been doing doula work for a few years now, training with Birth Arts International and works with the North Philadelphia Doula Co-op program that provides Doulas to Black, Puerto Rican and Dominican Women in what is considered the “bad lands” of North Philadelphia. She is also an hand-holder with Planned Parenthood, where she was trained with the Doula Project out of New York. Outside of providing Doula services, Iresha is a Behavior Specialist and Therapist in Philadelphia and Community Activist. working against the Prison Industrial Complex. Contact: Iresha.Picot@gmail.com

What inspired you to become a doula?
I am a supporter of Women; especially Mamas and what greater way to do that, than in their process of pregnancy; whether its an pregnancy for termination or for birth. Mamas need support and as a community we can tend to forget that due to preconceived notions of Women, particularly Black Women as being pillars of overt strength, who do not emotionally crumble or become tired. I grew up with a overworked single mother who at some points in her life, had no support in raising four children, so I understand firsthand how that strain can affect ones sensibilities in their parenting. Also, I wanted to combat in some way, the high cesarean sections rates for young black women.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
When the word “radical” pops up in my head, I think of go-getters. Someone who is not dormant about their struggles and takes action. That lays at the root of all of my work. As a Black Woman, I face oppression on many fronts. I know this. But, I am also out here making noise for change. Being able to provide doula services to women who have never heard of that term, is radical in more ways than one. I am a radical doula.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
My Doula philosophy is to treat Mamas with a lot of love, empathy and less judgement. I want to assist Mamas in finding their fire to advocate for themselves.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
Knowing that I helped another Mama–another sister, and also knowing that the very act of assisting and working with other women defies all types of patriarchal notions that women cannot be supportive of each other.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I want all Mamas to feel secure and confident in their choice to give birth or not to give birth and feel good about that choice without judgement from the world. If she wants to have five babies all alone, she should feel empowered to do so. If she wants to have an abortion, that’s all good too. I would also create alternatives to birthing; creating more birth centers in economic isolated neighborhoods, or if a Mama wants to have a hospital birth, she can move around and not always give birth on her back. Oh, and every Mama will have a Doula to support and advocate for her in that process. <3


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.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,786 other followers

%d bloggers like this: