Birth Doula Resources

“There is power that comes to women when they give birth.  They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them.  Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.” — Sheryl Feldman

alex-pasarelu-223684-unsplashAs my Doula focus is largely on vulnerable populations who have higher needs, more risk of past trauma, and less access to Doula services than the rest of the population, many of these resources will focus on these areas. However, I will also post general topic Doula articles and resources here that seem highly relevant and effective. I am also interested in exploring here the deeper meaning of the terms or designations birth doula, labour doula, birth worker, full spectrum doula, radical doula, and reproductive justice advocate, some of which are referred to in Monica Reese Basile’s thesis work at University of Iowa, further down.

Advocacy at Work: Doulas Working with Incarcerated Pregnant People

by Sharon Muza

“In Olympia, Washington, state representatives serving in the Washington State House of Representatives during the new 2018 legislative session found themselves voting on a potential new law that would mandate state prisons and jails to accommodate pregnant prisoners and make available volunteer midwives and doulas for the incarcerated pregnant population … “

Trauma-Informed Birth Support

by National Resource Centre On Domestic Voilence

“Health and well-being concerns and survival needs may be intensified if pregnant women are also dealing with past or current domestic violence, abuse and related trauma … ”

The Mothers Who Get PTSD From Childbirth

by Ilana E. Strauss

“When a person goes through trauma, the mind goes into an unusually hyper-aroused, fight-or-flight state, explains Sharon Dekel, an instructor at Harvard Medical School who is currently researching postpartum PTSD. The brain’s amygdala, which normally helps store memories, becomes hyper-responsive, leading to an exaggerated sense of fear. Parts of the brain that normally inhibit the amygdala stop working. When something reminds a sufferer of her traumatic experience, her unusually terrifying memories feel like more than memories; they feel like they’re still happening … ”

Exploring the Effects of Doula Support for Vulnerable Pregnant Women

by Emma Rogers

“Doula support … has the potential to improve maternal wellbeing, maternal mental health outcomes, maternal-infant bonding and attachment … ”

Reproductive Justice and Childbirth Reform: Doulas as Agents of Social Change (PhD Thesis)

by Monica Reese Basile (U of Iowa)

“I observe that doulas are increasingly working to empower people in multiple facets of their lives, beyond the birthing room. Rather than being incapable of, or uninterested in, creating social change, doulas are increasingly bringing a new political consciousness into birth work, as evidenced by the emerging designations of “radical doula” and “full spectrum doula.” I argue that this movement among doulas represents a new paradigm in birthing rights activism, which connects childbirth choices to a larger reproductive justice agenda and forges connections between birthworkers and activists for causes such as LGBT rights, abortion rights, prisoners’ rights, and economic and racial justice … ”

Full Spectrum Doulas

Posted by Full Spectrum Doula Canada Collective (FSDC Canada) (website)

“We provide support for any situation, unexpected or otherwise. We are reproductive justice advocates and womb warriors, and we believe that every pregnant person deserves dignity, respect and support. A full spectrum doula believes that their work is not just in childbirth, but that it covers the entire spectrum of pregnancy outcomes.”