Radical Doula Profiles: Angela Emery

Angela wearing green sweater with a younger person wearing a red jacket

This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Go here to provide your responses to the profile questions and I’ll include you!

About Angela: I am just returning to the doula-world after a five year hiatus. In the birth have worked as a birth and postpartum doula, a childbirth educator, abortion counselor, and residential counselor at a home for pregnant and parenting teens. I have also as a homeless out reach worker, disability rights activist, mental health counselor, and girls-program coordinator at a feminist organization. My doula business is called RaDoula and is open to everyone and works on a sliding-scale. I offer doula services in abortion, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. I am particularly interested in serving queer, teen, low-income, disabled, in immigrant populations. On a personal level, I am a queer, poet, activist, midwifery student, and mama to an 11-year old wonder girl. My dog only has 3 legs but can run faster than you.

What inspired you to become a doula?

I started studying midwifery shortly before I became pregnant with my daughter. A lot of midwifery courses suggest or require that you have doula training. Once I started working as a doula, I realized how important the role is in a birth. Additionally, I am very interested in politics, anthropology, and feminism- the three of those things combined along with a nurturing personality lent to me being a natural at this doula thing!

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?

I guess I’d have to take a Rebecca West stance on this when she said, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” Radical comes from the Latin world for “root”. Being a radical doula, to me, means that I’m getting at the root of the feminist, the root of feminism, the root of biology… the root of a person and believing in them… and maybe helping them to grow.

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

As a doula the two most important aspects to my services are 1. Providing information to assist in decision making and 2. Offer support and advocacy, regarding the wishes of my client, regardless of my own opinions.

This philosophy fits into my very strong political pro-choice beliefs. These beliefs extend beyond choices before/during pregnancy, but also into birth, post postpartum and through out life. I believe that an individual body is that individuals body-period. With that said, I also believe that our society makes a lot of misinformed and uninformed decisions. The pregnancy, birth, and postpartum worlds are all ones with which I am very familiar. I am proud to offer that information to my clients and then support them, no matter what their decision. One of my favorite quotes is “If you don’t know your options than you don’t have any.” I stand by that.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?

The connection and seeing women feel empowered and POWERFUL!

If you could change one thing about birth, what would it be?

Well, I don’t have a problem with BIRTH, per se, but the medical system that has taken over the birth process and changed it into a business pisses me off a bunch- I would change that for sure.

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