Radical Doula Profiles: Andrea Richardson

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!

IMG_3720About Andrea Richardson: I’m a Black queer Full Spectrum doula, supporting Black womxn & families in birth, pregnancy & infant loss (and abortion), pleasure & death. I’m also a reiki practioner and teacher. I support locally & remotely, as well. Located in Saint Louis, MO.

What inspired you to become a doula?
Many things have inspired me to become a Full Spectrum doula: My own birth (as a premie) inspired me to be a birth and loss doula. Not having access to much sensual pleasure & fun as a kiddo inspired me to become a pleasure doula as an adult. And understanding that death is a part of life (two sides of the same coin) inspired me to be a death doula.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
For me, there isn’t a hierarchy of support. Birth support isn’t more important that loss support. Pleasure support isn’t more important than death support. It’s all equally important & necessary.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
As a Full Spectrum doula, I definitely understand & practice holding space for many experiences in this life @ the same time. That’s what makes me identify as a radical doula. Reproductive justice means to choose to get pregnant/or not in the matter is best is something that I understand–as a femme, queer and and survivor.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
I love seeing a need & meeting a need–I also learn sooo much from clients. We are in a learning and healing through our work together. It’s amazing. I love that my doula clients become my friends and chosen fam, too.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I wish the Medical Industrial Complex would take responsibility for their racial bias & racism. And learn how to correct themselves so we all knew Black birth is sacred & protected–So they can wipe away the frightening Black Birth statistics for good.

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