Radical Doula Profiles: Stacey Davis

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!

Stacey and familyAbout Stacey Davis: Stacey has been in the birth world since 2009, when she attended her first birth as a Doula. After that first birth she knew she had found her calling. She attended 3 more births that year as a Doula, She then decided to receive Birth Doula training. Stacey trained at The Utah College of Midwifery for Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula in 2010. In 2010 she trained and added Placenta Encapsulation to her services. In 2010 she trained as a hypnodoula. Stacey is the current Southern Utah Representative for the Utah Doula Association. Stacey received her B.S. degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Utah Valley University. Visit her website.
.

What inspired you to become a doula?
With my 2nd pregnancy I struggled with postpartum depression from the time I was 26 weeks pregnant. My birth journey was a typical hospital birth. I fought with the nurse to have no epidural. After coming out of the darkness that ppd creates I began my journey to find a better way. Through my research I found that reducing a mom’s risk of ppd begins during pregnancy and birth. By having a positive birth experience you can drastically reduce your risk of postpartum blues and depression! A critical difference in moms who have a positive birth journey and those who do not is having the continuous labor support.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I march to my own drum, I carve my own way

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
Birth is the foundation for which is co-parenting is created. When two parents come together to get through the tough work and they are able to do it together they can do amazing things with parenting. this fits in with my political beliefs because one must work hard to get to the easy part.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
Empowering women with choices. Guiding them to find their own research to enable them to make choices unique to their body and their baby and their family

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
eliminate fear

Radical Doula Profiles: Jacoba

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!

1934213_165529690657_2338217_nName: Jacoba, full spectrum doula at Mama Aicha

What inspired you to become a doula?
I was inspired on Birth Work during my Peace Corps years in Morocco (2003-05) when while working on developing a Reproductive and Sexual health Education Program for Berber rural women in Ouled Berhil with my limited Derija skills but my passionate spirit, I met Midwife Aicha. After that we both started to develop a comprehensive sexual education program for women and started doing workshops in the community, and following her to her births. She inspired me to continue my studies in Midwifery and I continued my passion for accessibility on Reproductive and Sexual health services for women of color trough Taller Salud. Women themselves on a day to day basis inspired me to continue to these days. I got more inspiration to work with trans families and variations of resources later when working on Chicago Womens Health Center, and with teen mothers on topics around shame and estigma while volunteering on Little Village, Chicago. I kept noticing the lack of affordable Doula services connected with reproductive justice and specially with a class and race perspective; so here I am, doing my part and trying to convince others to join me!

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
Because it is a political thing for me. In these days, where the system seems to have already a plan with all our time, our environment, our health and time; giving people options to become autonomous and empowered to go against it has become a radical thing itself. I believe in that power because it has done amazing things on my own life, I believe it can do the same to other people, and when done and I have seen it on other women’s lives around me, Ive seen the results and it is powerful. I believe being a Doula is political because it is a resistance of not losing ancestral practices, whichever are connected to your history and culture. It is political because out there the services keep on being inaccessible for people, meaning for us people of color too, and this has been historical and has to stop. It is, because when services are developed without considering the lack of other health services around women’s communities, you are setting their reproductive and sexual health to failure and because of this, we Doulas are an important key to help organization and critical analysis with the people and for the people, because it is a matter of justice

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
Popular Education and education for the oppressed (Freire/ Boal). Reproduction Justice and education with, by and for the people.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
Being present! I always feel, when Doula-ing that I am part of something bigger and more powerful than just one birth. I feel I am part of a bigger collective out there of women willing to make a difference not only on other women’s lives but in society. I love the feeling of working for a more justice world for us all. I love feeling it so natural, part of healthy human relations and support system that makes us better human beings into this wonderful world.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I would change laws that don’t let traditional Midwives in Puerto Rico and Illinois to practice autonomously their passion and cut the accessibility of resources for women and people. I would change that more Doulas could feel the urge and passion to organize by region and moving collective agendas for reproductive justice, I really wish people could understand it is a bigger people. i swear I would keep on doing it trough my work, i know were are many more out there; that makes me happy!

Radical Doula Profiles: Efe Osaren

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!

Efe OsarenAbout Efe Osaren: Full spectrum prenatal and postpartum doula located in Brooklyn, NY. I attended DONA international training workshop in Austin, TX. I am a native Houstonian and attended Alief district schools. I majored in Psychology in undergrad at a local university. I obtained my CLC and I am CD, CPD by Ancient Song Doula Services. I can be reached at eosaren@gmail.com.

What inspired you to become a doula?
I was inspired to become a doula after attending my younger sisters birth and assisting a friend with her birth planning. Both of their birth story’s were normalized tragedies with forced and unnecessary interventions. The mothers had little to no say on medication choices, what tools they used or options to give birth in non doctor friendly positions. I was introduced into the world of birth justice and was advocating without permission before I even knew there was such a thing. As a Nigerian black feminist, I knew there was something wrong with the hospital system and I wasn’t comfortable with my ignorance of the the history behind it or how to manage it. After their births I decided to do some self education on the mistreatment of WOC and non POC women in the hospital system. I watched The Business of Being Born and was immediately inspired to become a doula/birth justice activist.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I identify with the term radical doula because I am a black feminist. I advocate for marginalized people and their intersections that are often ignored. Regardless of gender, class, sexual orientation, religions, race, disabled and mental illness. I also service those experiencing miscarriage, abortion, surrogacy and adoption.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
My doula philosophy is “Your birth, your choice”. My political beliefs are anything that dismantles all oppressive systems and to liberate those that suffer from it.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
My favorite thing about being a doula is being able to do my part to aide in my generation bringing political and social change to our society.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth it would be creating a safe space that would bring more awareness to birth justice and holistic birth options.

Radical Doula Profiles: Franklinn Wilson

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!

franklinnAbout Franklinn Wilson: I am a recently trained doula that identifies as queer and is looking to support families that vary from the norm. Single, poly, LGBTQ+, low income, and laboring people that are ultimately going to be giving their kids up for adoption. I was born and raised in San Diego county and will eventually be moving to the pacific north west. my email is franklinnhannah@gmail.com and my phone number is (619) 270 6856.

What inspired you to become a doula?
I felt that the care I had when I was pregnant and birthing was inadequate and I feel inclined to help other people have a better experience. I also see it as a way I can do more hands on activism. There are also no radical doulas in San Diego and I’m looking to help with starting a group of full spectrum doulas in my area.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I identify with the term radical doula because I identify with radical-ness in general in my life, I’m also queer as fuck. I think that the polarizing of holistic vs hospital care is awful and I’m out to change that.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
I believe in informed consent, I believe people have a right to know what they are agreeing to and what their rights actually are in a hospital setting. I believe that everyone should have access to the support they deserve, not just white upper middle class women.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
I love being connected with people in a magical way.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
The lack of collaboration between the midwife model of care and the typical model of care and the laboring person.

Radical Doula Profiles: Tiffany Irvin

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!

tiffanyirvinAbout: My name is Tiffany Irvin and I’m a proud doula, wife, Jacksonville native, and founder of Planted Seed Community Doula. I have 2 dogs and 4 cats, 20+ tattoos, purple hair (for the moment at least), a passion for music and art, reading, advocacy work, and a love for all things birth!

What inspired you to become a doula?
When my husband and I hired a local doula several years ago, we had no clue what we were doing. It ended up being the best decision for us because she ended up being extremely supportive and nurturing during our loss. Inspired, I immersed myself in the birth world, consuming books, movies, and anything I could get my hands on. I was already majoring in psychology, but I knew that my path was beginning to change. I still wanted to help others, but my method was morphing. After discussing with family and friends, I came to the realization that I belonged in the magical world of doulas.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I’ve been politically and socially active in terms of reproductive rights, LGBTQIA advocacy, and other social justice venues. I see how being a radical doula ties into advocacy and enjoy assisting my community with issues I’m passionate about.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
I believe that all people deserve access to doula services, regardless of ability to pay, race, gender identity or sexual orientation, etc. Doulas should not be a luxury afforded to only those with privilege. I believe in equal rights and respect for all people and I don’t see why that should differ in how I practice as a doula.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
I love the opportunity to experience life changing events with amazing people who are truly appreciative of your company, skills, and support. I also just really, really love babies.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?

The stunning lack of access to reproductive health services in this country saddens me. I feel so many would lead much more fulfilling, healthy, and positive pregnancies if we made this a priority.

Radical Doula Profiles: Nzingha Byrd

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!

nzinghabyrdNzingha Byrd is a radical doula, childbirth educator, and lactation consultant located in the Cincinnati, OH area. Nzingha has been teaching the benefits of natural childbirth and breast feeding for over 8 years with a strong concentration in women of color and teen mother communities. Nzingha has partnered with many organizations to provide services and has attended countless births, in homes and hospitals. Feel free to contact Nzingha at sweetsistahsplash@yahoo.com, on Facebook, or by phone at 513.332.1575.

What inspired you to become a doula?
I began teaching pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting education and enrichment to teen parents at the same time I discovered I was pregnant with my first child. Spending over 40 hours a week talking to and educating first time moms was of great benefit to myself. The more I learned and shared, the more I embraced pregnancy and having the birthing experience of my dreams. It became my passion to support other women in having the birthing experience that they envisioned as well.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I identify with the term Radical Doula because birthing babies outside of the modern day Western society norm is radical. In this day in age it is radical, rebellious, even revolutionary for women to question birthing practices, to assert their personal wants and desires, to birth with out medication or within ones home. These things are radical but even more importantly – these things are empowering. I am called to be that support to empower women through their pregnancy, labor and delivery process in any way that I can.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
I believe that Birthing should be left out of politics. I do not see it as a political debate or medical condition (of course there are special circumstances) but I believe that the body knows everything it needs to bring forth life. It is a natural thing. I think that it is a doulas job to prepare the mind for the birthing experience.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
My favorite part of being a doula is the childbirth education and preparation. I believe in this case knowledge is power and the more a mother knows, the less fear she has and the more determination she has to advocate for her self and her baby.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I would change the accessibility to Great Care for all women, that all women deserve and should be afforded regardless of race or income. That is not the case in particular communities and with particular populations. I believe all women should be treated with respect and supported in birthing the way of their choice. The support should not only come from doctors but the hospital and their policies, insurance companies, so forth and so on.

Radical Doula Profiles: Rose Wilder

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!

photo 1About Rose Wilder: I am a queer, anarchist, feminist doula, midwife assist, street medic and herbalist. I got trained as a midwife in 2012 and have been doing birth, abortion and death work ever since. I am a Certified Professional Herbalist and am trained in a lot of old healing rituals around birth. Along with a few friends, I helped start and am currently helping run the Boulder Doula Project. I have experience assisting trans and gender queer people, adoption, unassisted birth, teen parents and many other things-everyone deserves nonjudgmental, compassionate care. I worked at a birth center in El Paso where I attended over 100 births and have been doing mostly home and hospital births since returning to Colorado. I love holding space for these powerful thresholds and being of service to people. Location: Denver/Boulder/surrounding mountains, CO.
Contact: partera.moon@gmail.com

What inspired you to become a doula?
I was in school to be an herbalist and felt the most inspired by the spaces of birth. I then went down to study to be a midwife in the desert and fell in love with birth and the powerful thresholds. When I came back, I was able to integrate abortion and death work as well as serving a wider population of people. I facilitate a lot of self-examination and care workshops for people with a cervix which I love. I feel passionate about protecting and supporting people in this space and in reclaiming their own healing and knowledge about their bodies.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
To say that these things are radical feels intrinsically silly to me, but I would consider myself radical because I am trying to address the hierarchical hetero normative health care system and put that power of healing and knowing and decisions back into the hands of the people. I am queer and anarchist and bilingual. I understand that not all pregnant people identify as women and that not all families are structured the same. I call myself radical because I have an intrinsic trust in the body, in these processes and in the wisdom woven in all of it. I call myself radical because i feel that everyone deserves competent, compassionate care regardless of race, sexual preference, gender identity, class, age or anything else.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
My doula philosophy is that everyone deserves good care, that I love supporting people no matter what and also a knowing that people are powerful and wise. I believe in people’s wisdom to make their own choices about their bodies and that my space in that is to give information when asked so that people can make informed decisions and support them in what they feel is right. I believe that holding each other in these spaces creates strong community and that everyone has the right to be held.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
Ay all of it 🙂 I love just being in spaces with people during such a powerful and beautiful transition. Birth makes me feel alive and providing support during abortions feels empowering to me.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I would probably elect to change the hierarchical proceedings of the hospital, to create a health care culture of consent based, informed, fair, compassionate care.

Radical Doula Profiles: Cara Del Favero

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 Cara: Full spectrum (certified) birth doula, OSHA Certified placenta encapsulation specialist, childbirth educator, Certified Lactation Counselor and Certified Postpartum Doula. Serving the Albany, NY and Capital Region areas. Visit http://thealbanydoula.com or call (518)542-5475 for more information.

What inspired you to become a doula?
I identify as VERY pro-choice in my political views, however once I became pregnant, I realized that I also found the idea that pregnant people deserved the right to their own bodily autonomy during childbirth to be integral.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I identify as queer when it comes to my personal life, which allows me to gain a wider understanding of the specific needs that people have in the birth community. I have done plenty of research and reading to educate myself on the notion of white privilege and being a “placeholder” for those from marginalized groups. I acknowledge my privilege and work hard to help support the community in making new connections and changing traditional belief systems that may be harmful to some families.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
My favorite thing about being a doula, which took me a long time to figure out, is knowing just how NOT about me childbirth is. I realized that birth is an intimate and very personal situation for all families and I learned just how important it is to meet people where they’re at and not where I would “want” them to be. My choices may not be yours and I completely love and respect that.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, I would let all birthing people know that they have options. I would make sure that they have all the resources available to them to learn about the choices they have available to them without having to face social or economic barriers to this information.

Radical Doula Profiles: Anna Berger

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 Anna: I’m a DONA International-certified birth doula and CAnna outside, wearing jeans and a black jacketAPPA-trained prenatal educator working in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I holds a BA in political theory from Northern Illinois University and a Master’s in Library Science focused on community information resources for youth and families from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

As a doula, I dedicate my practice to assisting families as they prepare for their birth via education and emotional support, offering evidence-based information throughout the planning process and helping to explain the various changes and concerns many families face during the birthing year. In addition to my own support in pregnancy, labour, and the early postpartum period, I strive to help families find ways to connect with their communities for support and companionship as they enter a new stage of their lives.

For more information or to get in touch, you can find me at www.midtowndoula.ca.

What inspired you to become a doula?
The combination of my education background, professional experience in undergraduate student affairs, education, and community library services, and the process of immigrating to Canada in 2011, I came to realize how difficult it can be to transition into a new life in a culture where our local community connections have taken such a hit, and I began working toward becoming a resource for members of my community who might find themselves disconnected or lacking in support. I quickly found that new parents and young families, especially those who come to this tremendously diverse city from other parts of the country and around the world, are among those who most struggle to find connection and the tools they need to find and engage with others who share their stories.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
In a way, I think most doulas are a bit radical–we are working hard on a movement toward a colossal change in the way our culture approaches birth, moving from the expectation that pregnant people will take directions toward the expectation that they will make choices for themselves that must be respected and informed.

Additionally, however, I am pro-choice and strive for an inclusive practice that is welcoming and embracing of diverse families and experiences. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I know how difficult it can be to find providers and support people who do more than pay lip service to inclusive work. I do everything I can to make sure not only my practice but the resources I share and the referrals I offer are the most inclusive I can find.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
My philosophy as a doula is that every family should have support for their reproductive choices, regardless of what they might be, and it really ends there. I strive to be a source of reliable, balanced information and support, whom people can approach without fear of judgment or discomfort, and do everything I can to be someone you can trust to help you follow through on individual decisions once you’ve made them.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
In the grand scheme, I love being the link between people. When I can connect someone with another person and know they’ll find the support they need in one another, I know I’ve done my job well and met my personal and professional goals.

In a more specific sense, I absolutely love seeing the sun rise after an overnight labour, whether it’s the first sunrise we’ve shared or the second. I’ve seen them in all seasons and from many different parts of my city, and it feels powerful and magical every time. I’ve always loved mornings, but my appreciation for them has grown immensely since I started this work.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I would love to see a cultural shift in the way pregnancy information is presented. Although I know most of the information sources need to be approachable enough for a wide range of educational backgrounds, I wish more of our resources shared the information to help families make informed decisions rather than simply telling them what will happen at various stages in the pregnancy and birth process. It’s sometimes a subtle difference, but I think it’s so, so important.

I would also like to see a greater focus on informed choice (which to me implies a fairly even balance between the right to consent and the right to refuse) and informed consent (which makes informed refusal feel heavily discouraged). Again a sometimes subtle difference in terms of outcomes, but not such a subtle difference in approach.

Radical Doula Profiles: Joey Larson

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!

Picture of Joey Larson holding a newbornAbout Joey: Birth has become a passion in my life, the rights for woman and how she is treated before, during, and after birth should make her feel no less than honored and treasured. My mom taught me compassion, choice, love and support are so important in a woman’s life..and behold a doula was born…The idea of birth makes me cry and the truth is it is a true MIRACLE. Working with my many types of families and situations has opened my eyes and appreciation to different cultures and customs of birth. I am in awe how birth changes yet stays the same all over the world. It truly is a universal miracle. I live in Minnesota. Contact: birthingmiracles.yolasite.com or birthingmiracles.jl@gmail.com.

What inspired you to become a doula?
I was so lucky to be chosen by God to be birthed in to a family with a mother who loved the miracle of what birth was..I always worked and loved the babies and mama’s..My mom taught me compassion, choice, love and support are so important in a woman’s life..and behold a doula was born…The idea of birth makes me cry and the truth is it is a true MIRACLE.

Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I believe a woman should have rights, rights to her body during pregnancy. She should choose when and where she births. A woman should have the right to decide what she puts in her body and her babies body during and after birth. A woman should not have a stereotype because of how she births or what she chooses in the birthing process. Birth is a miracle and should be treated no less than of which it truly is.

What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
My doula philosophy is a woman should have the birth she chooses. She should have many choices. I believe that to have a great birth you need to treasure a woman in all areas, like emotional, physical and spiritual. To teach her to advocate and give her a voice. I also let women know they can interview, fire, and change at any point in their birth.

What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
I would say my favorite thing is watching the transformation from a woman to a mother and when a partner’s face changes when they see the picture of LOVE in their new baby or babies. I love holding a space and having a women feel treasured. I also think a great birth is the partner feeling empowered and supported as well.

If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
CHOICES.. lots and less judgement.