Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why becoming a doula is important now

Today, I present a guest post from Gina Forbes, the Workshop Coordinator at toLabor.

Becoming a doula is important now, more than ever.   With the current political climate and the recent attacks on women's health care and civil rights, it seems very clear that this is a precarious time in American culture.  Yet, I also feel that we are on the cusp of something bigger and better.  Every day, I learn about more individuals making greener, healthier choices for themselves and the planet.  People are beginning to rise up and live consciously.  This gives me hope.

As a birth advocate, doula, childbirth educator, and Workshop Coordinator for toLabor, I have thought long and hard about the role of a doula in this cultural and consciousness shift.  What is the greater significance of being a doula?

The answer is this: that EVERY person deserves to have autonomy over their bodies, their babies, their families, and their choices.  It is a human right, a civil right.  Every person who becomes pregnant, gives birth, and becomes a parent deserves to have high-quality, loving and compassionate care around this incredible time in their lives.  Doulas are people who are trained to respect that principle as the basis for all other work they do in their role as birth professionals.  Doulas ideally embody the role of empowered human being, facilitating a process of transformation and support for each and every client.  No matter what the birth experience looks like, doulas should be there to create the space for their clients to claim their choices, their autonomy, and their unique voice.  If done successfully, this paves the way for those individuals to become empowered, healthy, confident parents, which will have a direct impact on the quality of future generations' lives.  Birth matters!

I am an advocate for toLabor, the Organization of Labor Assistants for Birth Options and Resources, because toLabor exemplifies these beliefs in their doula training and certification program.   toLabor aims to return the focus of control to the laboring woman, to create the space and support for her to have her own voice, to be included and central in her birthing process.  toLabor understands the importance of empowering families, honoring birth, and changing lives.

Join the Community of Change.

toLabor will be having a doula training workshop in Jamaica Plain, MA on May 18-20.  For more information on that workshop, please contact local sponsor Catherine McKeown-Lindsey at or at 617-817-5397.  For other workshop listings and more information on toLabor, please visit the website at


JMT said...

I will be attending this workshop! If anyone else reading wants to get in touch ahead of time or connect online, this should link to my blog, and I tweet @Jessica_Turon. Great post!

Sarah said...

I love the way this post ties autonomy in birth to the larger political narrative in this country. Great post!

Sarah said...

I love the way this ties autonomy in birth to the larger political climate for women in this country. Great post!