Radical Doula Profiles: Karla Pippa

This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Email me.

Photo of Karla wearing purple shirt

Karla Pippa is an NYC based DONA intl trained doula. Previous to this, she spent the last 8 years working all over the country in the non profit world. As a campaign director, she empowered activists and organizers to find the inner strength and will to run intense environmental, human rights, and electoral campaigns. She brings her skills of coaching, motivation and understanding into her doula work and offers low-cost services to her community.

Contact Karla via email, doulapippa@gmail.com or at her website.

RD: What inspired you to become a doula?

KP: While I was running political campaigns across the country, I made sure to take time to attend both of my sister’s births. Watching (in awe), being with and supporting my sister during that challenging moment in her life reminded me of what it was like to work with an activist who just committed to turning out 100 people to vote in their neighborhood – overwhelmed, feeling moments of doubt but totally capable and powerful – they just needed to tap into that. What had always inspired me to do my political work was the ability to work with activists to push beyond their comfort zone and to be there to remind them that they are part of a community of people that want them to succeed and are ready to support them. I feel very much the same way about being a doula.

RD: Why do you identify with the term radical doula?

KP: When I tell people about my career transition most are surprised by what a “different path” I have chosen. But I dont see it that way. Much like in my work with organizers and activists, I look forward to bringing the same skills of motivation, coaching, advocacy, warmth and compassion to my doula work in order to help women feel supported and realize their inner strength in the birthing process. I want to be there when doubt and fear are confronted!

RD: What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?

KP: I believe that women are strong and that birth is an incredible experience that brings women to a point where they must tap into that inner strength. I believe each of us has the capacity to do so because our bodies and spirits were made for this. But I also know we live in a world that discourages women from exploring their true potential. I feel mass media and our culture often encourage us to doubt ourselves – our power, our looks, our relationships, our strengths. Too often we feel alone in our doubt. As a doula, I am most excited about being part of and creating a community of women supporting women.

RD: What is your favorite thing about being a doula?

KP: Being with a woman at the edge of her limits working to get her to a place where she believes in her capabilities. All the while knowing she could do it without me but ever so grateful that I am able to play witness to that moment in her life.

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One thought on “Radical Doula Profiles: Karla Pippa

  1. Debby Rabeor February 15, 2012 / 12:18 pm

    Karla, we love your spirit. And you’re right, your “transferable skills” from a political organizer to Doula come from the same foundation – the passion to advocate. Thank you for what you do, and for your commitment to enriching the lives of women and children.

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