Author: Keelia Alder & Ajira DarchSubscribed: 8Played: 84
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Ajira & Keelia use storytelling to encourage, inform, and love on doulas. Each episode features a story told from the doula's perspective, with tips and thoughts shared along the way. Learn more at doulastories.com
(Recorded in the fall of 2021, released in Jan 2022) Ajira and Keelia wrap up the season by sharing what they've been up to, and recommending their favorite birth/reproductive justice-related podcasts and resources. If you want to follow along on Ajira's or Keelia's personal journeys or learn more about their offerings, you can find Ajira @ajira on IG or on their website (www.ajiradarch.com), and Keelia is @doulakeelia on IG and their website is doulakeelia.com Ajira & Keelia's favorite podcasts (in no particular order): - Birthright, hosted by Kimberley Seals Allers: birthrightpodcast.com - Masculine Birth Ritual, hosted by Grover Wehman-Brown: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/masculine-birth-ritual/id1435005594 - BirthBruja, hosted by Eri Guajardo-Johnson: https://www.birthbruja.com/birth-bruja-podcast.html - Birth Stories in Color, hosted by Laurel Gourrier and Danielle Jackson: https://www.birthstoriesincolor.com/ - Sisters in Loss, hosted by Erica McAfee: sistersinloss.com All feature BIPOC birthworkers being amazing. Some use gendered language. If you want more doula stories, check out Romper's Doula Diaries available on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RompersDoulaDiaries/ Instagram accounts to follow for more amaazing BIPOC birthworkers and decolonizing birthwork (in no particular order): @sumistouch @queerbirthworker @birthbruja @bipocaspiringmidwives @theblackdoula @doctor_midwife Also check out the Irth app: "The only app where you can find prenatal, birthing, postpartum and pediatric reviews of care from other Black and brown women. The #1 “Yelp-like” platform for the pregnancy and new motherhood journey, made by and for people of color. Search doctor and hospital reviews from your community! Leave a review today to help inform and protect others!" Learn more at https://irthapp.com/ or download the app on iPhone or Android. Special thanks again to Cameron Sharpe, Chris Alder, Tali Perelman, and Alyssa Codamon.
When Your Client Is a Survivor of Sexual Assault
Eri Guajardo Johnson (she/they) and Micaela McHenry (or Mickey, she/her/ella) share the inspiring story of what it was like for them to support a fellow Indigenous person through their empowering birth experience. With Eri as birth consultant for survivors of trauma, and Micaela in the doula role, the two worked together and witnessed the healing power of birth and community for their client. Eri Guajardo Johnson is a queer, bi-racial birthworker, rape crisis peer counselor, holistic wellness coach, community organizer, and host of the Birth Bruja Podcast. They are based on unceded Anishinaabe and Potawatomi land, in what is now known as the metro Detroit area of Michigan. If you'd like to connect with Eri, you can follow them on Instagram at @birthbruja or visit their website, birthbruja.com Micaela McHenry is a mixed Indigenous full spectrum doula. Her focus is on BIPOC birthing people and Indigenous traditions from her direct lineages (she carries both Native American and Native Mexican ancestry) and birth-centered activism. Her life goal is to make a positive impact in her community and the families she works with by focusing deeply on the decolonization of wellness spaces. She is based on unceded Anishnaabe and Potawatomi land, in what is now known as the metro Detroit area of Michigan. If you'd like to connect with Micaela or learn more about her, you can follow her on Instagram @bossa_novaaa, and her website sageandrebozos.com You can follow the Doula Stories podcast on Facebook or Instagram @DoulaStories or learn more on their website, doulastories.com
When You Support Clients in-Person, and by Changing the System
Often the support we provide as birthworkers is only part of the picture. Most of the time our clients need support from the healthcare system, not just from their designated support person. In this episode, Ari Stoeffler (they/them) shares three short stories about the ways they've provided individual support and systemic support in abortion care, and in gender affirming hormone therapy. Episode transcript available at DoulaStories.com Resources that Ari recommends are the following: for those in the local Boston area, you can learn more about the Boston Abortion Support Collective at bostonabortionsupportcollective.org For abortion-related resources, Ari recommends the National Network of Abortion Funds (abortionfunds.org), the National Abortion Federation (prochoice.org), and Planned Parenthood (plannedparenthood.org). You cannect with Ari on facebook at facebook.com/ari.stoeffler (their name will show up as Arami Tessa). You can follow the Doula Stories podcast on Facebook or Instagram @DoulaStories or learn more at DoulaStories.com ID: Ari is smiling outdoors with a flower tucked behind their ear. Overlayed on the photo are captions for the audio: "Ari: People were able to come in and get the care that they needed in a way that was more proactive. The intention of what we created was to make sure that we recognized the gap in care and addressed it in a way that both allowed the patient to be seen by the people that they needed to be seen by, but also did not negatively impact every other patient. And I think that's really where the system stuff gets hard, is like: how do you do this sustainably so that every person who needs to be seen can be seen without taking away resources? And so that was the challenge, was figuring out how to add a resource, and support patients, and also make sure that the clinic was being supported as well. Keelia: Right."
From body fluid spills to cringey moments with clients, Ajira and Keelia share several short stories about funny happenings in the birth room from their own and other birthworkers' experiences. A huge thank you, again, to everyone who submitted a short story. You can follow the Doula Stories podcast on Facebook @DoulaStoriesPodcast or on Instagram @DoulaStories You can also learn more and find episode transcripts on their website: doulastories.com
When Your Postpartum Clients Need to Talk About Politics
Divya Kumar (she/her) shares about providing support to a group of new parents in the lead up and aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. After noticing that the group shared fears around raising children during a tumultuous political season, Divya created a space where the families could support each other with those concerns alongside asking for advice about bottles and naps. While holding space for those conversations, though, Divya felt her own vulnerabilities arise as a BIPOC, and learned how to show up for her clients while also showing up for herself. Divya is a therapist based in unceded Massachusett land, in what is now known as Boston, MA. If you'd like to connect with Divya, you can follow her on Instagram at @bothbrownand_ Resources that Divya recommends to both parents and doulas are Postpartum Support International which you can access at postpartum.net, and the Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for People of Color which you can learn more about at pmhapoc.org You can follow the Doula Stories podcast on Facebook or Instagram @DoulaStories or learn more on their website, doulastories.com
When You Start as the Photographer and End up as the Doula
When Cherie's birth photography client asked if Cherie would be the third layer of backup doula support, she agreed--how likely is it that the third backup doula needs to be called in, really? Sure enough, though, Cherie ended up unexpectedly supporting her client as both doula and photographer, facing questions that are all too familiar for doulas: how much longer can I keep going? Am I doing enough to support this family? How can I take care of myself at the same time? If you want to connect with Cherie Seah, you can find her on Instagram @EarthShineDoula and her website is EarthShineDoula.com. You can also learn more about the Asian Birth Collective at AsianBirthCollective.com Resources Cherie recommends to doulas who find themselves facing situations similar to her own include Spinning Babies (SpinningBabies.com), and Birth Monopoly (BirthMonopoly.com).
Hana Grace Lehmann (she/they) was going to support her close friend Annalise (she/her) through her pregnancy and birth. Annalise was set to have an unmedicated birth at the hospital, but when she reached forty weeks, COVID-19 hit, and shelter-in-place began. With Annalise now looking at different birthing options, Hana faced the possibility of providing virtual support for the first time, or hosting her friend’s birth in her own house. If you’d like to connect with Hana, you can find her on Instagram @philadoula and her website is philadoula.com If you or someone you care about needs support for perinatal depression or anxiety, check out these resources: the Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for People of Color (pmhapoc.org) and Postpartum Support International (postpartum.net) Hana would like to thank Annalise & Damian for letting her be a part of their story, and for being open to her sharing their story. Thank you also to Wes and Cecilia who held her, and kept her going at that time. Finally, thank you to Samm Magpi of Magpi Midwifery, for being a grounding and calming presence. You can follow the Doula Stories podcast on Facebook or Instagram @doulastories or learn more on our website, doulastories.com
Sam (they/them) had been a full-time doula for years. Then COVID hit, and they now faced having to provide virtual support for the first time in their career to a client with a long history of trauma. What originally was going to be in-person support for a birth at a birth center quickly became an exercise in adapting to rapidly changing circumstances, and continuously meeting their client where they were at. If you want to find out and name the indigenous folk whose land you occupy: https://native-land.ca/ You can follow the Doula Stories podcast on Facebook or Instagram @doulastories or learn more on their website, doulastories.com
When Your Client Is a Doula and Plans a Home Birth
Amadoma Bediako had been a birthworker in New York City since the 70's, but she still felt a little intimidated when another doula asked her to be the doula at their home birth. If you'd like to connect with Amadoma, or if you're interested in attending any of Amadoma's trainings, you can learn more by emailing her at email@example.com Sevonna (the birthing parent) put together a version of the multi-page birth plan Amadoma referenced, which now serves as a guidebook for pregnant parents via Sanctuary Birth Inc. While still a work in progress, Sevonna has generously shared this resource with us, and you can view it at the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fzZqaNefEu8pKLZGwXNyjOiB6BmjJyLx/view?usp=sharing Amadoma would like to thank Sevonna and Quazzy for allowing her to share their birth journey with them.
When Your Client’s Doctor and Family Are Unsupportive
Hana Grace Lehmann (she/they) shares her story about supporting Lily (she/her) through the birth of her firstborn. The deck seemed stacked against Lily from the start. Even though Lily wanted an unmedicated birth, everyone in her family had given birth by cesarean, and Hana knew that Lily’s doctor had a very high cesarean rate. When Hana got the call that Lily’s water had broken and that she was heading into the hospital for an induction, Hana tried not to jump to conclusions about how this birth would go. Hana is a doula based on unceded Lenape land, in what is now known as Philadelphia. If you’d like to connect with Hana, you can find her on Instagram @philadoula and her website is philadoula.com Hana would like to thank Lily for allowing her to share her story, and she’d also like to thank Lily’s mother for carrying hard narratives for so long, and for hearing this new story. You can follow the Doula Stories podcast on Facebook or Instagram @doulastories or learn more on their website, doulastories.com
Who Are We, and Why Doula Stories?
Ajira and Keelia introduce themselves, and explain why this podcast is needed. They also introduce storytelling as a tool in our continued education as doulas, and its value in sustaining and supporting birthworkers. The book mentioned in the episode is The Doulas: Radical Care for Pregnant People by Mary Mahoney and Lauren Mitchell. You can follow the Doula Stories podcast on Facebook, Instagram @doulastories or learn more on their website, doulastories.com
Braxton and Hicks walk into a bar. Nothing happens. Ajira and Keelia are here with funny-ish jokes and stories from doulas to share with you. Subscribe to hear about what happens in the birth room from the doula’s perspective, and to hear helpful tips along the way. Follow Doula Stories on Instagram @doulastories, or check out their website: doulastories.com