It was a privilege and an honor to be featured in DONA’s quarterly magazine, the International Doula, Volume 26 Issue 1. Themes that were repeated throughout the issue revolved around trauma, loss, healing, self-care and resiliency. In my article, Becoming a Trauma-Informed Doula, I write about how “unresolved trauma can surface in unexpected ways for those we serve as birth and postpartum doulas,” including loss related to experiencing sexual trauma, abuse, miscarriage, and other life challenges. I also share five ways to hold space for birthing, postpartum, and parenting families, as well as a ritual for healing and ways to sustain your own practice. See the full article below.
Here’s a throwback to the post I wrote during DVAM 2016 for the DTI Blog. Doula Trainings International (DTI) is a birth and postpartum doula training organization for the modern doula. DTI founders created a robust program that includes mentorships, business skills development, and in-depth video classes that complement the initial workshop, extensive reading list, and other practical experience requirements. In this post I wrote about whether or not to ask pregnant women about their experiences with trauma, how we can normalize discussions about past abuse, where to get help, and what readers will find in my book, With Harp & Sword: A Doula’s Guide to Providing Trauma-Informed Birth Support.
Sevonna Brown, Gender Justice and Human Rights Project Manager with Mama Black: Stories, News and Analysis by Black Women's Blueprint shares her thoughts here, With Harp and Sword: Trauma, Survivorship, and Reproductive Health (August 18, 2016). Brown writes, “This book acts as the wings for a doula who is struggling in mid-air to support survivors (or who is a survivor herself). The guide is just as much a how-to companion for every full spectrum doula, as it is a personal narrative of trauma and recovery. Fairley writes on experiencing both trauma and resilience as a triumphant introduction into rebirthing oneself, recommitting one’s life’s work, and resisting retraumatization.”
Chloë Lubell of The Midwife Is In is a total bad ass to be admired; I admire her! She promotes respectful care for cis women, non-binary folks, and trans men and women, and loves to talk about bodies, sex, healthcare, pregnancy, adoption, abortion, birth control through her social media channels. She offers reliable, evidence-based information in way that’s compassionate, educational, and empowering to her followers. In 2016 she reached out to me to kick-off her new series, Tea & Fireside Chat. We chopped it up about my favorite tea, my view of birth and reproductive justice work, and my advice for other birth workers out there.
World Doula Week (WDW) began in 2011 with the purpose “to empower doulas all over the world to improve the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period.” WDW is observed annually and internationally during the spring equinox from March 22 through March 28. During this time, I share about my passion for being a birth doula and strive to raise awareness of the benefits of doulas to expectant families through social media posts and shares. Check out this piece I wrote during WDW 2015 for From the Womb to the World, Walk Like Thunder: Finding the Power in the Strength of Women. I was asked to talk about why I became a doula, what I love about the families I serve, and what a typical week in the life of a doula is like.