Los Angeles Radical Doula Guide Release Party

The Radical Doula Tour continues! In January I’ll be co-hosting parties in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and plans are in the works for a Washington DC party in February.

I’m excited to co-host the Los Angeles party with the Shodhini Institute and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, as well as the Doulas Association of Southern California–three fabulous groups dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our communities.

Details:

Sunday January 6
4pm-7pm
Feminist Majority Foundation
433 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

There will be guides for sale, a raffle benefiting the Shodhini Institute, a live DJ and much more. Should be a great time, hope to see you there!

Facebook event here.

The Bay Area party will be January 10th–details coming soon.

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Minneapolis Radical Doula Guide Release Party!

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Supporters at the Chicago Radical Doula Guide Release Party!

I’m psyched to announce that Tuesday, November 27, we’ll be hosting a Twin Cities Radical Doula Guide Release Party in conjunction with the Family Tree Clinic, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, and the Smitten Kitten. The party will benefit The Ilythia Project, a group that provides doula services for pregnant women living with HIV.

It’s going to be a low-key get together, with opportunities to purchase the guide, get to know local doulas and reproductive justice activists, and raise funds for The Ilythia Project! We’ll have a short discussion about the guide, Q&A and a raffle. Light snacks and beverages provided. There will also be a photobooth!

I’m really excited for this event, which once again will be hosted at another fabulous feminist sex shop, Smitten Kitten (review I wrote in 2008!).

Details:

Tuesday November 27
7-9pm
Smitten Kitten
3010 Lyndale Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55408

Facebook event here.

Hope to see you there!

Mega thanks to Erin Wilkins from the Family Tree Clinic for organizing this event.

Chicago Radical Doula Guide Release Party

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Rad doula supporters at the NYC Radical Doula Guide Launch Party

Chicago Doula Circle

I’m psyched to announce that next Monday, September 17, we’ll be hosting a Chicago Radical Doula Guide Release Party in conjunction with the Chicago Doula Circle, the local full spectrum doula group in the area.

It’s going to be a low-key get together, with opportunities to purchase the guide, get to know local doulas and doula supporters, and raise funds for the Chicago Doula Circle! We’ll have a short discussion about the guide, Q&A and a raffle.

And best of all, we’re bringing together two of my favorite things by hosting the party at the local feminist sex shop Early to Bed. (Those who have been following my writing a long time know that I LOVE feminist sex shops–I even reviewed Early to Bed back in 2009).

Details:

Monday September 17
7-9pm
Early to Bed
5232 N Sheridan Rd Chicago, IL

Facebook event here.

Hope to see you there!

Mega thanks to the Chicago Doula Circle and especially kp Palmer for helping to get this together on such short notice!

Reviews and Excerpts of the Radical Doula Guide

Each August I try to take at least two weeks off from work, which mostly translates as not checking my email. It’s a necessary ritual for my sanity, and for my brain to re-calibrate to life away from inboxes. This year’s vacation also coincided with a move from Brooklyn, NY, where I’ve been living for the past two years, back to Washington, DC where I used to live.

While I was away, a lovely number of you (about 40) ordered copies of the Radical Doula Guide. Thank you! I put those copies in the mail today, so apologies for the delay.

If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, there is still time. I’ve already sold about half of the guides I printed, so don’t wait too long!

You can order your copy here.

Anna J. Cook, a long-time reader and fellow feminist blogger wrote a lovely review of the guide. It’s thoughtful and comprehensive and you should read the whole thing. But here is a quick taste:

Miriam’s 52-page “political primer” discusses the political nature of what she terms “full spectrum pregnancy and childbirth support” — a concept that covers not only childbirth and postpartum doula work, but also abortion and miscarriage doula care, a relatively new service some trained doulas are offering. There are books and training workshops available for learning doula techniques, and The Radical Doula Guide doesn’t seek to replicate those resources. Instead, Miriam offers some reflections on how doula work intersects with political systems: “a starting point to understanding the social justice issues that interface with doula and birth activism” (4).

In four brief sections, Miriam acts as a tour guide through different aspects of full-spectrum doula care and brief analyses of three broad categories of intersection between pregnancy and politics: “bodies” (race, gender, sexual orientation, size, age, and HIV/AIDS), “systems” (immigration and incarceration), and “power” (class and intimate violence/abuse). Using these broad categories with the more familiar nodes of inequality as sub-categories draws our attention back from specific issues to think in more expansive terms about the ways our bodies and lives are policed within society in both informal and formal ways. And specifically, how those constraints shape the experience of pregnancy and parenting.

While you wait for your copy to arrive you can also check out this excerpt that ran in Women’s Enews two weeks ago. It’s bits and pieces of the introduction, pulled together for a broader-than-doula audience:

We all come to this work for different reasons. Until recently, most of the doulas I encountered were parents themselves–their childbirth experience, whether positive or negative, inspired them to serve others during pregnancy and childbirth.

Now I see a different group coming into this work. Young people without children but with a passion for health activism are finding doula work and see it as a new way to channel their desire to engage in direct service or direct action. Books and documentaries about maternal health in the U.S. have in­spired many people.

I often get comments and emails with questions about how I can be both an abortion doula and a birth doula–aren’t those two things a contradiction? I always reply that the answer is definitely no. The common thread throughout all these experiences, and all the ways in which I apply my skills as a doula, is unconditional and nonjudgmental support. That is the essence of doula work.

Read the full thing here.

Update: A new review by Jillian L. Schweitzer is here.

Online orders now available for The Radical Doula Guide

Photo of Radical Doula Guides in boxes

The online order system for copies of The Radical Doula Guide is now up and running! Thanks for all the interest and support, it’s been an AMAZING week.

Go here to place your order today.

If you want to order 10 or more copies, email me directly (radicaldoula@gmail.com) so I can give you a bulk discount.

The Radical Doula Guide NYC Launch Party!

Cover image for The Radical Doula Guide, with pregnant person holding a sheet across the chest and constellations in the background

After many months of hard work, editing and wrangling, The Radical Doula Guide is finally in the last stages of production!

So we’re throwing a party.

The Radical Doula Guide NYC Launch Party

Wednesday August 8th, 6pm-9pm

duckduck bar
153 Montrose Ave
(2 blocks from Montrose Ave L train) 
Brooklyn, NY 11206

Benefiting The Doula Project

Raffle, photo booth, drink specials and more!

Please note updated venue!

Those of you who pre-ordered the guide through the indiegogo campaign will receive it in the mail by the end of August, but if you are in NYC this is your chance to come pick it up in person, hang out with other doulas and doula supporters, and get your copy early!

If you haven’t pre-ordered a guide, but happen to live in the NYC area, this is your first chance to purchase one for the post-fundraiser price of $12 (and no shipping!).

I’ve poured many, many hours and lots of sweat into this 48 page political primer for doulas, and I’m really excited to finally be able to get it out into the world. I really hope it will be a useful tool for all and have much gratitude to everyone who helped make this happen.

Facebook event here. I hope to see many of you there! At the event we’ll also be raising funds for The Doula Project, a group that I helped to found that provides free support across the spectrum of pregnancy to folks in NYC.

I also have tentative plans to do launch parties in other cities (DC, Bay Area, ?) so stay tuned.

Cover Design by Joy Liu, Swash Design Studio

Update on The Radical Doula Guide and an excerpt from the intro

It’s been a busy few weeks over here at Radical Doula HQ! Since launching the fundraiser for the Radical Doula Guide, I’ve been spending a lot of time promoting it and working on the actual guide itself. My goal is to get it printed by May of this year, so I’m speeding toward the finish.

Meanwhile, all of you amazing people have supported the fundraiser, and I reached my goal just halfway through the fundraiser! THANK YOU to everyone who has donated so far. I feel so loved and supported.

Although the donation price to pre-order a copy of the guide was $35, once it’s printed and the pre-orders are out the door, I’ll be selling it for around $10. So no fear if you haven’t donated, or can’t afford the $35. The fundraiser was a way to get support from those who could offer it, so that I could then sell the guide at a fraction of the cost of printing and design. Check back here in May for info about ordering the guide at the lower price.

There are still 9 days left to participate in the fundraiser, however, and I of course welcome the additional support! Any money that comes in above the cost of making the guide will go to offering copies of the guide to those who can’t afford even the $10 price.

As a thank you to everyone for supporting the fundraiser, I’m including an excerpt from the working introduction to the guide. It’s still in draft form, but after the jump is the section entitled “Why this guide?”

Also, apologies for not blogging more during these weeks, and to anyone who has emailed me and not received a response. I promise, I have not forgotten you! I will respond as soon as I can.

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