I'm currently offering a monthly series of workshops. We started with Crafting Ritual For Abortion & Pregnancy Loss in August.
Next up this month is Burnout, Vicarious Trauma, & Resilience, which is now open for registration. Please also mark your calendars for Oct & Nov workshops; registration is coming soon.
Online Workshop Series:
I hope you find something in this schedule that stirs your heart to action, a place you know you have room to grow stronger and more capable as the brilliant support person you already are.
Burnout, Vicarious Trauma, & Resilience -- September 2019
In this live online workshop we'll discuss burnout and vicarious trauma, with a focus on how they affect doulas. We'll learn about building resilience through reflective practice, self-care, and squad-care. We'll craft individualized plans for growing more resilient as caregivers.
This workshop is appropriate for doulas, midwives, counselors, anyone who works to nonjudgmentally support people transitioning out of pregnancy.
Live online workshop: Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30pm EST (supporting workshop materials available as soon as you register)
Cost: 30 U.S. dollars
Sliding scale available (no need to ask or explain; I trust if you're paying at this rate it's because that's what's right for you): 15 U.S. dollars
Registration is open.
I had the good fortune to spend 2 days last week in an excellent training on teaching transgender & gender non-binary topics with trainers from The Teaching Transgender Toolkit.
Full-Spectrum Doula Circle courses have always been explicitly trans-welcoming & I provide some resources to help doulas prepare to support trans clients. After taking this training, I'm updating best practices & making some small but important changes to my existing offerings. I'm also developing a new workshop focused specifically on providing support for trans & non-binary clients. More info about this as it emerges.
Trans & non-binary folks often avoid or delay accessing healthcare because of misgendering, microaggressions, and outright hostility. I think we have an obligation as doulas to develop skills & knowledge to be able to support trans & non-binary clients with kindness & sensitivity.
This bibliography is the result of a few requests recently from people looking for citations on abortion doulas.
I'm calling this a "Research Bibliography" and limiting it to research/academic/print publications. A bibliography of blog posts, zines, news articles, and podcasts would be much longer. I realize the distinction I'm drawing here is somewhat arbitrary and that it recapitulates an often artificial distinction between academia and the rest of the world, but it gives me a way to put tight boundaries on this project so I can get it posted.
Is there anything I've missed that you would include on this list? Please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research Bibliography on Abortion Doulas
Compiled by Sarah Whedon April 22, 2019
Basmajian, Alyssa, Abortion Doulas: Creating Compassion and Community in a Place of Shame and Solitude. Thesis.
-----. “Abortion Doulas: Changing the Narrative,” Anthropology Now. 6 (2); September 2014; 44-51.
Colarossi, Lisa and Gabriela Betancourt, “Planned Parenthood of New York City: Feasibility and Acceptability of Doula Services for Surgical Abortion” 2011. Unpublished.
Chor, Julie, Vinay Goyal, Alicia Roston, Lewish Keith, Ashlesha Patel, “Doulas as facilitators: the expanded role of doulas into abortion care,” Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 2012; 38.
Chor, Julie, Brandon Hill, Summer Martins, Stephanie Mistretta, Ashlesha Patel, and Melissa Gillian. “Doula support during first-trimester surgical abortion: a randomized controlled trial.” American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2015:212:45.e1-6. Web. 9 September 2016.
Chor, Julie, Phoebe Lyman, Megan Tusken, Ashlesha Patel, Melissa Gilliam, “Women's experiences with doula support during first-trimester surgical abortion: a qualitative study,” Contraception March 2016; 93(3): 244-248
Chor, Julie, Lyman Phoebe, Ruth J, Patel A, Gilliam M, “Integrating Doulas Into First-Trimester Abortion Care: Physician, Clinic Staff, and Doula Experiences,” Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. 2018 Jan; 63(1):53-57.
Ko, Michele, Beyond Hand Holding: Abortion Doulas and a Reproductive Justice Politics of Love. (2016). Honors Thesis. https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1710
Mahoney, Mary and Lauren Mitchell, The Doulas: Radical Care for Pregnant People. The Feminist Press, 2016.
Mitchell, Lauren and Annie Robinson, "Story-Centered Care: Full-Spectrum Doula Work and Narrative Medicine,” in Doulas And Intimate Labor: Boundaries, Bodies, and Birth. Angela Castaneda and Julie Johnson Searcy eds. Demeter Press, 2015.
Pfaff, Anna, Full Spectrum Doulas: Broadening The Scope of Reproductive Healthcare." Thesis. 2012.
Wilson, S., M. Pensak, C. Ukogu, M. Sammel, C. Schreiber. “The role of doulas to address analgesic and psychological needs during surgical management of early pregnancy failure and abortion,” Contraception. 15 September 2015. Web. 10 August 2016.
A new episode of the Full-Spectrum Doula Circle Podcast is up. Lauren Mitchell and Mary Mahoney, co-authors of The Doulas: Radical Care for Pregnant People talked with me in January 2017 about their book, story-based doula care, and organizing doulas. Listen to it on Spreaker or Apple podcasts.
“This is what she needs us to bear witness to at the moment” --Lauren Mitchell
Resources for this episode:
HI’m so grateful for the warm and generous response to the new Full-Spectrum Doula Circle Podcast. Thank you dear Patrons who are helping to make this podcast possible!
There are now 3 full-length episodes:
You can listen to the podcast:
If you're getting benefit from the podcast, if you're enjoying it or learning something, would you please help me out by sharing it with your friends and colleagues and/or supporting it on Patreon?
Here's an incomplete list of articles (and some videos) from the last couple of years grappling with Black maternal and infant mortality, and ways in which doulas are responding:
I'm shutting down the Full-Spectrum Doula Circles monthly webinar series so it can be reborn as a podcast. I'm doing this to increase accessibility, because everyone who I've talked to about the choice between webinars and podcasts has said they prefer podcasts.
The podcast will be a combination of new interviews and many of the webinar interviews edited to be podcast-friendly and to remove the voices of anyone who doesn't explicitly consent to being on the podcast.
Our last Full-Spectrum Doula Circles webinar was last month: How Poor Women Are Deprived Of Reproductive Privacy with Khiara Bridges. Khiara talked about the power of ethnography, how racist and sexist laws are punishing poor women, and how to engage with love and revolution. Good news: Khiara agreed to have the recording of this conversation be a part of the new podcast so if you missed it as a webinar, you'll get to hear it later as a podcast.
This was webinar number 25, the last in a two-year series. I feel humbled, grateful, and invigorated looking back over those past two years. Here's an image that I shared during the last webinar of the second year of speakers (not including two speakers who preferred not to have their pictures used publicly).
There are three ways you can be a part of the new podcast:
1. Subscribe. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple podcasts and give it a rating. These actions help other people to find it. While you're at it, you could also let your friends and colleagues know about it.
2. Suggest. If there's someone you think I should interview for the podcast, please let me know. I'm especially eager to talk with people who can shed light on supporting incarcerated pregnant people, supporting folks with disabilities, the importance of postpartum support, and grappling with models of financial sustainability and accessibility for doulas, and I'm particularly interested in sharing the mic with people of color.
3. Sustain. If you're excited about this podcast and you know you're going to gain something from it, you can help to sustain it by becoming a supporter at Patreon.
This week I attended an Equity in Midwifery Education webinar. I'm so glad that I did.
This particular webinar was about Supporting Indigenous Midwifery Students. The presenter, Rhonda Lee Grantham from the Center for Indigenous Midwifery, shared many stories of Indigenous students encountering structural barriers to midwifery education, unsafe learning conditions because of teachers' ignorance or ineptitude at cultural humility, and many more stories about the challenges Indigenous people face in becoming midwives.
Most of my students are doulas, but many of them are midwives (and they're also social workers and doctors and nurses and activists and others...) and many of the barriers to midwifery education are paralleled in doula education. I'm always striving for greater equity, justice, and love in my teaching. I hope to continue learning from the Equity in Midwifery Education webinars, and I'd like to invite my teaching peers to consider joining me.
I'm getting excited watching the fall online abortion support skills courses filling up with doulas, sex educators, nurses, counselors, and activists who are clearly amazing people just for taking the brave and open-hearted step of signing up for the course. I'm so eager to get to know them all.
There's still room for more people to join, plus there are two scholarships available!
I'm constantly blown away by the generosity and thoughtfulness of folks I get to work with on the Full-Spectrum Doula Circles. Two recent Full-Spectrum Doula Circles webinar speakers donated their fees to the scholarship fund, which means two learners with financial need can reduce the cost of the course to just $25. If you wish to be considered for the scholarship, please say so in the last question on the application.
It totally makes my day to learn how past Abortion Support Skills course participants are putting their learnings to use to increase the compassion, love, and justice in the world.
I got permission from Robyn Schwarz, Reproductive Rights Activist and Educator based in London, Ontario, to share her thoughts about the class:
"I took the Full-Spectrum Doula Collective's Abortion Support Skills course in Spring 2018. I had been independently working as a reproductive rights activist and educator at Western University for two years, was starting to transition from my PhD into a career in reproductive health, and was looking to build on my skills and connect with other professionals in the field. Sarah was an excellent facilitator. She thoughtfully and actively created a space where we could talk about the nuances of caring for someone whose having an abortion, and ensured every course participant felt heard and cared for. I knew a lot about abortion care before signing up, but found that each week of course material gave me new things to think about. The best part of the Abortion Skills Support course was by far the community Sarah creates, and the thought ways course participants engage with each other. I would recommend this course to anyone, working in reproductive health or not, because the compassion support skills you learn can be helpful for facing so many of life’s challenges. I have since been working in the field and continue to practice the skills Sarah introduced me to. Thank you Sarah!”
Online Abortion Support Skills course, open to people anywhere in the world, starts September 28
Info & application: https://goo.gl/forms/P0Wmze3ISQ25iFSz2
Online Abortion Support Skills for Doulas course, open only to doulas in New Mexico, starts October 8
Info & application: https://goo.gl/forms/x040t5BSVWbjPRtx2
I'm excited to be collaborating with Tewa Women United to offer an online Abortion Support Skills for Doulas course specifically for doulas in New Mexico. Tewa Women United's Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice Program is home to the Yiya Vi Kagingdi Doula Project, a community-based doula program.
Most participants in the course will be part of Tewa Women United's programs, but I'm opening up a few spots to other folks from New Mexico who want to take advantage of this special opportunity to learn and network together with other doulas across New Mexico.
The New Mexico course begins Oct 8, with live online course meetings on Mondays at 6pm MT. To learn more or to be considered for participation in the Abortion Support Skills for Doulas in New Mexico Course please find the application here.
Would you do me a favor? If you know any doulas in New Mexico, please share this email with them.
I'm also offering a general call online Abortion Support Skills course, which is open to participants from anywhere in the world.
I'm offering this course in the daytime instead of the usual evening timing, because some folks have told me they haven't been able to take the course because evenings don't work for them. We'll have our live online meetings at 11am EST/8am PST. The open call course begins Sept 28.
To learn more or to be considered for participation in the Abortion Support Skills course please find the application here.
My summer reading:
"Prenatal Substance Use: Exploring Assumptions of Maternal Unfitness", commentary co-authored by Mishka Terplan, one of our Full-Spectrum Doula Circles speakers this month.
The commentary authors write:
“Pregnant women who use substances deserve compassion and care, not pariah status and punishment.”
I read journal articles so you don’t have to! I’ll ask about this commentary during the Full-Spectrum Doula Circles webinar on Pregnancy and Drug Use: The Facts.