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: My name is Tiffany Irvin and I’m a proud doula, wife, Jacksonville native, and founder of Planted Seed Community Doula. I have 2 dogs and 4 cats, 20+ tattoos, purple hair (for the moment at least), a passion for music and art, reading, advocacy work, and a love for all things birth!
What inspired you to become a doula?
When my husband and I hired a local doula several years ago, we had no clue what we were doing. It ended up being the best decision for us because she ended up being extremely supportive and nurturing during our loss. Inspired, I immersed myself in the birth world, consuming books, movies, and anything I could get my hands on. I was already majoring in psychology, but I knew that my path was beginning to change. I still wanted to help others, but my method was morphing. After discussing with family and friends, I came to the realization that I belonged in the magical world of doulas.
Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I’ve been politically and socially active in terms of reproductive rights, LGBTQIA advocacy, and other social justice venues. I see how being a radical doula ties into advocacy and enjoy assisting my community with issues I’m passionate about.
What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
I believe that all people deserve access to doula services, regardless of ability to pay, race, gender identity or sexual orientation, etc. Doulas should not be a luxury afforded to only those with privilege. I believe in equal rights and respect for all people and I don’t see why that should differ in how I practice as a doula.
What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
I love the opportunity to experience life changing events with amazing people who are truly appreciative of your company, skills, and support. I also just really, really love babies.
If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
The stunning lack of access to reproductive health services in this country saddens me. I feel so many would lead much more fulfilling, healthy, and positive pregnancies if we made this a priority.