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: Cordelia Hanna Cheruiyot is a Certified Childbirth Educator (ICEA), Certified Birth Assistant (ALACE), Certified Lactation Educator (CAPPA), Postpartum Doula and Assistant Midwife. She has taught hundreds of couples and attended births as an Assistant Midwife and Doula/Monitrice in hospitals, homes and birth centers throughout Los Angeles County since 1991. She has a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Health Education and Promotion/Maternal Child Health from Loma Linda University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) accredited by NCHEC, the gold standard for professional health educators. She has extensive experience working in the public health arena in Los Angeles as a Perinatal and Women’s Health Education Consultant, Trainer and Workshop Leader. Cordelia is married and the mother of two home-born, family bedded, breastfed children who are now capable and bright young adults. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Wholistic Midwifery Sch ool of Southern California, DBA The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health, a non-profit training and advocacy organization located in Los Angeles working to reduce perinatal health disparities through a midwifery model of care. Programs include a Community-Based Doula Program, Community-Based Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program, and a freestanding birth center and midwifery school is in development.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or at her website.
What inspired you to become a doula?
The magnificent, transformative, empowering births of my own children, born at home with a midwife.
Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
Because we need a radical transformation when it comes to our thinking about birth in this culture. I aim to help pregnant moms have a radical awakening and discovery of the true nature of childbirth and the possibility that it provides.
What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
Natural Childbirth, because of it’s unique nature, has the potential to transform women’s lives, families, organizations and communities. I believe that pregnant women and their partners deserve to have information in order to make informed choices or informed refusals. They also deserve to be supported by their communities during pregnancy and postpartum, and be given power to give birth with whom and where they please. In our society, there are vast disparities in maternal and infant health due to lack of access and issues of poverty which determine birth outcomes. This is an injustice I aim to rectify.
What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
Seeing the joy on the mother’s face when she feels the elation having pushed her baby out.
If you could change one thing about birth, what would it be?
ALL women, regardless of social status or race or neighborhood in which she lives would have access to woman and baby centered quality maternity care.