Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Calling: Practicing Reproductive Justice as a Doula

This weekend I had the privilege of attending a great conference on reproductive justice that refreshed passions and refueled interests I have always had. In trying to figure out where I fit and where I want to plug in with the reproductive justice movement, this weekend provided a wonderful "ah ha!" moment that I am grateful for.

While reproductive justice must be present in all periods of a women's reproductive life, I will be an advocate and ally for mothers that choose to give birth to babies. This is where I fit.

A couple of the workshops I went to over the weekend were about motherhood and childbirth - where great discussions took place regarding the lack of choice women have once they decide to give birth, particularly marginalized women (poor women, women of color, immigrant women, young women, disabled women, etc...). My action step: Well, I've decided to look in to doula (a childbirth companion) training so that I can work with mothers before, during and after childbirth to ensure that their rights and wishes are respected and that their experience with birth is as positive, informed and safe as possible.

For thousands of years, women have helped other women give birth. With the U.S. experiencing an increasing maternal mortality rate - particular amongst women of color - it is vital that pregnant mothers have an advocate and companion that knows childbirth and knows and fights to protect their rights as women.

My calling...or at least one of them.

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