This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Email me.
Introducing Jill Wodnick, this week’s radical doula:
RD: What inspired you to become a doula?
JW: Being a doula seemed a natural outlet for my myriad of passions: women’s studies, healing arts/body work and public policy. As soon as I found out what a doula was, the calling was clear. I truly love that my doula care enables me to share chants, mantras, recipes, and work in the wise woman tradition AND be part of improving maternity care by knowing evidence based practices and policies that are essential for maternal infant health.
RD: What is your Doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
JW: Working one on one, my philosophy is very compassionate and seeks to awaken one’s deep intuition and instincts for labor and life as a mother. My broader political belief encompasses that social justice begins with birth (access to prenatal care, reducing racial perinatal disparities, legislative policies to support breastfeeding intiation and retention). Seeing birth as a reproductive rights issue really is meaningful. I am inspired by the cogent and clear policy messages of ‘MomsRising.org’ to create legislative reform.
RD: What is your favorite thing about being a Doula?
JW: Two days a week, I teach at Montclair State University which is energizing and is a public forum. But being a doula is private forum; I have done prenatal healng arts visits where I have read out loud from “Women Who Run With the Wolves” and used fresh lavender for a sacred foot soak all the while empowering a woman to hear her own inner voice about her birth priorities and needs. I have used Carolyn Myss’ archetype assesment to finger painting to the White Buffalo Woman’s chant…in treating women with dignity and respect in the wise woman tradition, I hope that these multi-sensory experiences mentor each expectant mom to her own resources for labor and for life.
RD: If you could change one thing about birth in the US, what would it be?
JW:That hospitals would all become accredited Mother Friendly-Baby Friendly. Currently, only 64 hospitals are Baby Friendly and those that are have better outcomes for moms and babes.
Some links Jill loves:
Yes! I love all this. We need more radical doulas like this in the world making sure mothers and babies are safe and happy during birth!