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 Karly Santiago: I am a birth doula based in Long Beach, CA. I started out my earlier career wanting to be a make up artist but my life had another calling! I have an amazing man that I call mine and two little girls that are the epitome of rascals! I believe in informed choices, loving support, and a hand to hold. Your birth experience matters! You can find me on the web: www.picklesandicecreamdoula.com on Facebook: www.facebook.com/picklesandicecreamdoula or on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/doulakarly
What inspired you to become a doula?
The birth of my second daughter really changed my perspective on giving birth. I felt like I could conquer the world after that experience. I wanted other women to feel the way I did. No matter what their birthing choices, everyone should be treated with respect and allowed to make their own choices for their body.
Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I identify with being a radical doula because I believe information is power! We need to take back our bodies and experiences. Women should have every right to informed consent, letting their bodies labor naturally, and choices when it comes to their baby. Wouldn’t it be radical if every woman had the support and respect she deserves?!
What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
My absolute favorite thing is being able to witness the moment that a woman becomes a mother and a man becomes a father. It doesn’t matter if its the first time or the 5th time, the moment is pure magic! The surprise and love that is all over their face the first time they lay eyes on their sweet babe is like no other. I count it a privilege to be in that moment with them.
If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I would want to change the way that others speak to pregnant women. The negativity and horror stories are not helping to further the amazing thing that is birthing a baby. We have to realize that just because one woman had an unfortunate experience, doesn’t make that the norm. We need to grow and learn from our past, but not dwell there. Instead of scaring a pregnant woman, why not tell her what you learned from your experience? It might help the both of you grow and build a bond that we should have as women. Sisterhood is a powerful tool, especially when we rally around a pregnant mama!