Radical Doula Profiles: Erin Carter

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!

Erin Carter with familyAbout Erin Carter: I am a birth doula and placenta encapsulator located in Lawndale, CA; just south of Los Angeles. I have a Bachelors in Biology and embrace the skills my scientific training offers while maintaining the view that birth is a completely natural process. I believe that women are, biologically and spiritually, perfectly equipped to bring new life into the world through birth. I am trained through DONA International and as a perpetually curious mind I am constantly seeking out continuing education. I am proud to be ‘momma’ to a beautiful little girl whose birth started me on this journey and wife to a strong supportive husband. Website: http://www.biomamabirth.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BioMamaBirth

What inspired you to become a doula?
My birth experience was sad and traumatic; all of the things that I knew and all of the things that I desired for my birth were stripped away and I was reduced to a pile of statistics that the hospital staff ‘didn’t like.’ I take great issue with the use of fear tactics to coerce and control laboring women.

I wish for each client to help build them up and empower them to make their own choices and stand firm in the face of opposition when it is rooted in bias or practices that are not evidence-based. I wish for birth culture that we can consistently work to bring humanity back to the birthing process for ALL women.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
As a feminist, a plus-size woman, a child of a low-income single mom, and part of an interracial marriage/family: radical is where I live. I’m a short, white woman with a cute round face, so to the casual observer I seem pretty mainstream and folks are often surprised at how passionate I am about the divides of race, class, gender, sexuality, size, etc.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
My aim is to help bring back the belief in the abilities of the birthing woman and the value of her experience. No matter how a baby comes into this world that child deserves to be placed into the arms of a family that has been empowered and built-up by their birth team. I hate the mommy-wars and the way our society thrives on making others feel ‘lesser.’ I strive for the DONA mission of “a doula for every woman who wants one.” I don’t care who you are; if you think I’m the right doula for you I’ll do everything I can to be there, or I’ll help you find someone who can.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
Making a difference in the lives of my clients and being one voice in a growing sea of supporters of birthing women.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
Respect for the experience from all professionals involved in the birth process. ‘Healthy mother, healthy baby’ is terribly oversimplified and dismisses the psychological, emotional, and physical effects that trickle down through the months and years after birth. Let’s talk about healthy families and how we can give them the best start through a respectful and humanizing birth experience.

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