It’s been almost four years since I entered into the world of blogging, and almost six since I became a doula and a birth activist.
And you know what? We’re a seriously expanding movement.
It’s been absolutely amazing to watch. Since starting this blog to try and connect with other radically-minded, pro-choice, activist doulas, since collaborating with Mary and Lauren on the seeds of what have become a flourishing Doula Project in NYC, from writing this first article about some of the pioneers of the abortion doula movement.
So much has changed in such a short time.
Let’s break it down:
First of all, the birth activist movement is blowing up. We’ve got doulas coming out of our ears, amazing fired up midwives and birth activists pushing for better access to midwifery care, improved policies in hospitals, insurance coverage of midwives and home birth and doulas. We’ve got parents around the country waking up to the bad state of birth in the US, and trying to change it. We’ve got a movement of folks trying to eradicate the inhumane practice of shackling incarcerated women. We’ve got prison doula projects, volunteer doula projects, all sorts of birth activism.
Then we’ve got this amazing community of “full spectrum” doulas–folks like you and me who have a radical intersectional view of their doula work, who want to support folks in every phase of pregnancy: birth, abortion, adoption, miscarriage, even other basic reproductive health services like colposcopy.
Thanks to the amazing work of the Doula Project NYC, there are doula projects popping up around the country–in at least 4 other cities and counting.
A lot of the folks involved in this movement have been doulas for a long time, and are now expanding their services. But many of them, like me, are young, childless activists (many from the reproductive justice movement) who have been called to doula work because of this amazing intersectional stuff happening. How rad is that? I had someone tell me at an event recently–I thought all doulas were hippy earth mamas with long flowing skirts, until I met you. We’re queerer than ever before, more diverse than ever before.
We’re changing the face of birth activism every single day.
Laurel Ripple Carpenter from Cuntastic (and one of the first Radical Doula Profiles) just launched a social networking site for all of these amazing doulas, the Full Spectrum Doula Network. Check it out. Join, connect with other bad-ass doulas like yourself and let’s keep this movement growing.
I feel blessed to be a part of this amazing new wave of activism. From profiling all the amazing doulas on this blog, to helping to found the Doula Project in NYC, to coming back to the project (yay!) after years away and getting to be part of the work of a full spectrum doula again, it’s amazing to be here and to work with all of you.
So let’s keep this work going ya’ll. For serious.
thumbs up and high five!
The first principle of Primal Mothering is Fertility Rights. Rarely do I find a “primal mother” who can extend her heart to the woman who chooses abortion. My commitment to supporting abortion is considered a contradiction in the minds of those who would deny us our own determination regarding reproductive choice. Sisterhood requires solidarity, and I must move on to a flock of women who embrace “primal” for what it is. It is primal for a woman to say NO to a given pregnancy, then reach for measures needed to uphold her heart. I look forward to the day when a jar of menstrual pills are located on a shelf right next to feminine products…until then, whatever it takes to uphold my motto, “It’s a woman, not a womb.”
My friend Miriam in Brooklyn directed me to your work and I am so glad. I’m a newer doula in CO and was beginning to feel like the lone lesbian/queer in this work. I was starting to think I was alone in not subscribing to a mom/dad-only model of family making.
Thanks for all you’re doing to blow up the world of birthing and create space for some new ways of supporting women with reproduction on all levels.