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 Hannah Yore: I offer full spectrum, sliding scale services that include prenatal, labor, and postpartum support as well as miscarriage and abortion counseling in the New York City area. I am committed to providing advocacy and companionship to pregnant people throughout a range of reproductive experiences and support my clients holistically. I am associated with DONA International and NYC’s Healthy Women, Healthy Futures Initiative. In addition to my work as a doula, I also have experience conducting international women’s health research, advocacy, and case management services. For more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What inspired you to become a doula?
I have worked for five years with reproductive justice and sexual health organizations domestically and internationally as an advocate, case manager, and researcher. I also served as a promotora’s assistant in The Dominican Republic, providing holistic healthcare services to individuals in their homes. Many of the individuals I worked with expressed anxiety over navigating pregnancy, abortion, and family planning. I decided that being a doula provided me another opportunity to both expand my knowledge around natural medicine and better support women during emotional and monumental periods in their lives.
Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
Personally, identifying as a radical doula means acknowledging the ways in which current socio-economic systems negatively affect the reproductive experiences of queer folks, women of color, and those living in poverty. Having a radical doula practice requires that I take into account how my clients’ histories and intersecting identities influence their feelings around and experiences of reproductive choice and agency.
What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
I believe doulas must take into account their clients’ mental and social realities rather than strictly the physical components of reproduction. My doula practice is an extension of my political beliefs and work as an organizer and activist around issues of social justice. As a feminist socialist organizer and international reproductive justice practitioner, I am committed to mitigating the harmful affects for-profit medical industries have on socially and economically marginalized communities.
What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
My favorite thing about being a doula is having the opportunity to learn from my clients. I have been fortunate to bear witness to extraordinary moments of strength, vulnerability, and resilience and each women with whom I work helps enrich my philosophy as a doula and expand my knowledge around healing, medicine, and human connection.
If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
There are many issues surrounding pregnancy and birth, however, I would prioritize improving the relationship between individuals and their doctors. Unfortunately, pregnant folks are often left feeling confused and discouraged after medical appointments. I would like to see more culturally competent, individualized care models in hospital and OBGYN settings.