When something is done a certain way, and no one ever questions it,I like to get to the root of it. In a number of ways, both literal and figurative, birth is that root. How birthing people are treated in pregnancy birth and postpartum informs how they are able to show up for the task of parenting. How a child is parented informs how they show up for the task of being a human in this world. If we want to make significant, lasting change in the world, in a way that will have a ripple effect out into so many other aspects of the future, then birth is a mighty fine place to start.
I started hearing the call to doula work when I was pregnant with my son, Kahlo. I treated that pregnancy like I was getting a PHD in birth and babies - insatiably devouring all the information, literature, podcasts, and evidence-based research possible. Being self employed granted me the privilege to allot ridiculous hours to research and study on the topics of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. I didn’t know it while it was happening, but essentially what I was doing was getting to the root, and then getting to that roots’ root, and so on - getting to the root of how we got here: the US having one of the highest maternal death rates of any developed nation, Black birthing people dying at 3-4x the rate of white birthing people in child birth, how informed consent being nonexistent in obstetrics, to name a few topics of my insatiable research. Yes I wanted to know how we got here, what’s the root of it all, but more importantly I wanted to learn what to do about it - at first just so I could improve my own experiences, and now so I can improve others’ experiences.
In 2018, I began my formal education as a doula - a companion who provides emotional, physical, and educational support for pregnant, birthing, and postpartum people. The role of “doula” is a non-medical role (I.e. a doula does not replace a midwife or an OB.) I sought out the Mama Glow program for my doula education because their uniquely curated immersion courses offered the most valuable techniques in holding space for, comforting, and advocating for people going through this transition, and because their activist and advocacy approach to this work aligned with my social justice concerns for people birthing in the US today.
I’m brand new to my practice as a doula, but already have found in this work where my passion and purpose intersect. So I am prepared to, and plan to expand upon my tangible skills in a life-long education to be able to most effectively fill this roll for birthing folx in my community. I believe in birth, not as an accident waiting to happen, but as an opportunity for culture-shifting change. as an opportunity to prioritize the birthing person and their physical and mental well being to, in turn, prioritize the physical and mental well-being of the generations we are raising. I believe that in most cases, the capabilities innate in our bodies are enough to birth the babies we grow, and I believe in fiercely protecting that innate power.