Five holiday gift ideas for the doula in your life

I’ve never done a gift guide before, but this year it just seems like there are so many great doula-related books and causes to support. So in case you’re building your own holiday gift list, or looking for a fun gift for the doula in your life, here are a few suggestions! I purposely picked gifts that can be purchased directly from individual artists and business owners, rather than all the many doula-related gifts one could find at corporate retailers. Have other suggestions? Leave them in comments!

1. The Radical Doula Guide: A Political Primer for Full Spectrum Pregnancy and Childbirth Support ($12)

Photo of Radical Doula Guides in boxesYou probably saw this one coming! But seriously, the incredible support I’ve received since publishing this guide in August has been humbling. I’m so honored that so many of you have purchased a copy. This is the first time my work at Radical Doula has generated any income, and it makes a huge difference in my ability to keep it running and invest more time in it.

There are currently 0 copies left of the initial 500 I printed this summer. New shipment in! Plenty of copies available. So order yours (or one for a doula friend/family member) today!

If you don’t know, the guide is a great resource for anyone interested in doula work, doing doula work, or just curious about the politics surrounding the experience of pregnancy and birth in the US. It is US centric, but I think the ideas may apply to folks living in other countries (I’ve sent quite a few copies abroad).


2. Hot Pants: Do It Yourself Gynecology, Herbal Remedies ($5)

Picture of Hot PantsPati Garcia (aka Chula Doula) gets the credit for gifting me a copy of this awesome zine. It was created by two herbalist/activists in Montreal in 1999, and Pati has taken on the task of printing and distributing it. It’s a great beginners guide into using herbs to treat gynecological issues–a great resource for anyone, but especially doulas interested in learning about herbs.

The first sentences of Hot Pants says it all I think: “Patriarchy sucks. It’s robbed us of our autonomy and much of our history. We believe it’s integral for women to be aware and in control of our own bodies.”

Go here to purchase a copy from the Shodhini Institute (bonus: supporting another activist/small business operation).

3. A New View of a Woman’s Body: A Fully Illustrated Guide by the Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers ($30)

Cover of A New View of a Woman's BodyAnother book that I learned about because of Pati, it covers a incredible amount of medical knowledge, centered around feminist practices of self-exam and self-help. This book gives you the tools you need to take control of your own health care, and provides many illustrations and photos of real women’s bodies. A great resource for your own health needs, as well as when working with doula clients. You can also purchase a copy of this book from the Shodhini Institute.

While you are at it, check out all the other items for sale at the Shodhini Institute online store.

4. Donation to The Doula Project

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If you’d prefer a less consumer-based gift, then may I suggest a donation to the Doula Project? There are of course many fabulous non-profit organizations you could donate to in someone’s honor (including many other full-spectrum doula groups!) but let me provide one reason why supporting the Doula Project could make an impact.

In addition to serving thousands of people in NYC over the last few years, providing free doula support during abortions, miscarriages, birth and adoptions, the Doula Project also supports new full spectrum doula programs that are cropping up around the country. They share their curriculum, travel to facilitate trainings and give lots of advice and support. So by donating to The Doula Project, you not only support their vital NYC-based work, but you help ensure that this movement grows nationally. So consider a donation in someone’s name.

5. Doula Sterling Silver Necklace ($52)

And because I could not resist going to Etsy and searching for “doula,” here is a beautiful necklace for the jewelry loving doula in your life. If you are interested in stones & crystal healing, here is what the artist says about the stones included on the necklace: “Turquoise: Spiritual attunement, cleansing, healing, protection, valor, soothing, peace of mind, guidance through the unknown. Amethyst: Contentment, spirituality, dreams, healing, peace, happiness, love, intuition. Amber: Soothing, calming, cleansing.”