*Disclaimer: The author has significant bias in favor of the OBGYN + Midwife group supporting this initiative and has attended numerous volunteer births at local pregnancy shelters. This article is not written in an attempt to convince, persuade, or otherwise influence doulas in how they practice.*
For some families expecting a baby, childbirth may look much different than they anticipated during pregnancy. Most birthing people are surprised by at least one aspect of labor, birth, or the immediate postpartum period. Many are looking to soften around or prevent these surprises, unexpected outcomes, and/or potential traumas by hiring a doula to help guide and support the birther and any partner(s) that will be in attendance. However, some families can't find it in their budget to hire a private doula for support; others aren't even aware doulas exist before labor begins.
This was originally an assignment in a midwifery course. I've shared my thoughts here in hopes it helps other birth workers serve all birthing people with dignity and thoughtfulness. To read the original format of the assignment and/or references, click here.
This course has been extremely enlightening for me on more topics than I can even count. I came into class feeling like I had a general grasp on the basics around LGBTQIA+ care needs and considerations, but quickly found there was plenty of room for knowledge advancement in all areas. This early realization aided in my ability to shed some preconceived notions and biases moving forward. The specific areas of study that were new to me, and therefore provided the most potent learning experience, were that of polyamory and intersex experiences. These are the areas in which my lack of comprehensive knowledge and own internal biases combined to create ignorance and judgment. I am so grateful to have been introduced to the complex...
This was originally an assignment in a midwifery course. I've shared my thoughts here in hopes it helps other birth workers serve all birthing people with dignity and thoughtfulness.
Michael and Shona and their children are dedicated to their conservative Baptist faith. Michael is a deacon and Shona ministers to children in the nursery. You have assisted them with five other births. Shona has just given birth to their 8th child. When you conduct the newborn exam you find the following genitalia: an opening that could be a vagina, a swollen area that look similar to a divided testicular sack or a labia that is uniquely formed, an enlarged clitoris/small penis. You discuss your findings with the parents and show them the baby’s genitalia. You recommend that they assess for urination and follow-up with their pediatrician within 24 hours. You continue to provide postpartum care to the baby and mother. The mother reports that the baby is urinating well.