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 Andi Johnson: I am a full-spectrum doula in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I provide birth doula services, placenta encapsulation, loss support, abortion support, postpartum doula services, and birth pool rentals. I love writing, roller derby, and recently took up burlesque. I can be found at www.offbeatdoula.com and on various social media platforms under @offbeatdoula.
What inspired you to become a doula?
I became a doula after my own experiences with birthing. I realized that people giving birth need more support, more information, and a medium for their voices to be heard.
Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
The term radical doula has alway resonated with me. I am vocal about my inclusiveness and political beliefs surrounding birth. As a queer, polyamorous woman, I am sensitive and knowledgeable of the variety of identities and genders, and I do not discriminate. I am a pro-choice feminist and I believe that everyone should be their authentic selves without fear of judgement.
What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
I believe that women should feel empowered, and that they deserve the information needed to make informed decisions. I believe that birthing women deserve the emotional and physical support they need to feel safe, comfortable, and trusted. My doula philosophy is based off of empowerment, security, trust, intuition, and choice.
This ties in to my political beliefs around women’s rights, reproductive justice, and equality. I will fight for women’s rights regarding their bodies and the marginalization they experience through everyday discrimination. I also will stand up for my LGBT family and believe we have a long way to go until we are equal. I am so very lucky to be in Canada, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005, and planned parenthood is not even a question.
What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
My favourite thing is seeing a family make choices confidently and using their voices. I love assisting women in letting go and trusting their bodies. I love helping women find empowerment.