This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Email me at radicaldoulaATgmailDOTcom.
Marea Goodman is a Bay Area radical doula who is consistently awed and inspired by the power of birth. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and is committed to working with diverse communities where her services are needed, often on a volunteer basis. As a queer womyn, she relishes each opportunity to work with the LGBTQ community, and feels passionately about reconfiguring the notion of what a “family” can be.
What inspired you to become a doula?
I became inspired to become a doula when a good friend of mine found out she was pregnant and asked me to be at her birth as her acupressure therapist. I decided to go through the DONA birth doula training, and completed the course in time to attend the beautiful home birth she was privileged enough to have in the East Bay. After experiencing the power of the birth room, I felt forever changed. Since then, I have dedicated much of my time and energy to providing my doula services to women and families in need.
Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
For me, the term “radical”connotes a commitment to breaking the mold of normative society and the oppression so many of us face because of it. A radical doula is someone who does this in the realm of birth and families. I speak Spanish and Portuguese, and am so grateful for every opportunity to support those members of society who are unfairly oppressed. As a queer womyn, I relish each opportunity to work with members of the LGBTQ community. I am sensitive to the preferred gender pronouns of each of my clients and to the role that their partner(s) play during labor and birth. I also have a personal commitment to reconfiguring the normative idea of what a “family” can be.
What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
I believe that every person deserves to have a supportive, safe, and empowering birth experience. Unfortunately, the Western medical system does not always offer the education and unbiased support to make this possible. As a doula, I believe it is my role to help facilitate a positive birth experience for each client, and to tirelessly advocate for their desires in the birth room. Birth is a basic human rights issue that very few people in mainstream society speak about. My work and philosophy as a doula involves breaking the silence and dispelling the fear around birth, as well as working to educate as many people as possible about birth politics.
What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
My favorite thing about being a doula is the the intimacy I experience in the birth room. I am grateful to every family who has welcomed me into the transformative moments of birth. The power of experiencing a new life entering the world is a blessing that never ceases to amaze me.
If you could change one thing about birth, what would it be?
I would want women to trust their bodies and believe that they are entirely capable of birthing their children without fear.
I would also want home birth to be covered by all insurance companies, in order to make it a more accessible option for women and their families who want to experience birth outside of the hospital setting.