This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Email me at radicaldoulaATgmailDOTcom.
Casey Wait is currently a student at Bennington College in Vermont where she studies Human Ecology. She hails from the Chicagoland area and began her doula career working with the Chicago Doula Circle as an abortion doula (which was probably the most wonderful experience of her 20-year life). Casey is passionate about radical feminism, queer issues, ecology, herbalism, social activism, and skill-sharing! Though she has yet to see a baby be born, she aspires to become a full-spectrum doula in the near future. At the present, she offers abortion doula support and would love to gain more experience in the birth world. She is very proud to be a part of the radical doula community. She has a lot to learn, but also a lot to contribute!
What inspired you to become a doula?
I have always been passionate about reproductive health and justice. I am a natural caretaker–since I was little I have always loved providing emotional and physical support to my friends and family. It wasn’t until my second year of college, when talking to my adviser about these interests, that I considered becoming a doula–in fact, I didn’t even know what a doula was until she explained to me why she believed it would be such a good fit for me.
I go to Bennington College, and here we have something called Field Work Term, which is a seven-week term between the fall and spring semesters where every student is required to do an internship in their area of study. For my first Field Work Term I worked as an abortion doula with the Chicago Doula Cirlce, a group of fantastic volunteer abortion doulas. It was during this time that I realized that doula work truly was my calling.
Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I consider myself a radical doula because I am dedicated to offering my services to any person going through any reproductive experience–be they female, male, trans, gender-non-conforming; whether they are carrying the pregnancy to term, choosing abortion, adoption, experiencing miscarriage or fetal loss. I also hope to work with those in lower income communities, to help improve the quality of care offered to these communities. I believe that at the heart of what doula work is about is compassion, and there is not a single person in this world who doesn’t deserve some compassion. I strive to normalize and validate all reproductive experiences.