Taking a quick break from live blogging the Breastfeeding and Feminism conference for this important announcement/call for help:
Last week I received an email from a woman living in a small town outside of Minneapolis, MN who has had a terrible time trying to find a doula. She is now 17 weeks pregnant, and she told me how she has been turned down, not once, not twice, but THREE times by three different doulas. Why?
–The first doula turned her down because she is not sure if she wants to give birth without an epidural.
–The second doula turned her down because she was pregnant with twins, and decided to do a selective reduction and terminate one of the pregnancies at 11 weeks.
–The third doula turned her down because she is serving as a surrogate for a gay couple.
This is what is saddest to me–when doulas, who are supposed to support women in all their decisions around childbirth–would turn a woman away. I don’t know about you all, but in my doula training, this is NOT what we were taught. This situation highlights exactly why we need more radical doulas, progressive people willing to support women without judgment, so that no one who seeks out doula care will be denied.
In her own words:
I am at my wits end and cannot believe that I can’t find anyone in a profession designed to help and support women who is willing to help me. I’m just looking for someone compassionate and progressive and willing to help me out. I really hope that you can provide me with some information because at this point I’m really just kind of lost.
So I am turning to you all. Please, if you are or know of a doula in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (she lives about an hour and a half outside the city) who is willing to consider providing doula support for her, please, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Note, she is willing to pay for the services).
Also, if you are a doula or midwife blogger, and would like to cross post this call on your site, please do. My hope is that we can utilize this virtual network of radical doulas and midwives (and allies) to find a great support person for this woman.
Again, email me if you are a doula in the area or have any question (email@example.com) and I will forward along the information to her.