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News Archive

We like to write at The Doula Project. We see it as a great way to raise awareness about our unique model of care and to engage our doulas, clients, and the health care professionals we work with. While our homepage holds our most recent articles and updates, this page is home to past articles, press releases, and updates concerning everything doula.



LA Doula

Until I started working with abortion, I never knew exactly how to articulate what I love about birth—what pulls me to keep these crazy hours, spend 36 hours straight in a hospital, stay surgically attached to my phone.  I pursued a doula career for several years, but when people asked about my motivation, I could only vaguely describe my very real, life-long fascination with pregnancy and birth.  At the time I hadn’t yet connected it to my other very real, life-long fascination with abortion.  Learning, talking, reading and thinking about both filled hundreds of fascinated hours throughout my life—usually in very different settings and conversations—and while I had become a doula with the intention of doing full-spectrum work, I never realized how naturally these seeming-opposites connected in my mind.

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Mother's Day

I didn’t realize that I had scheduled an abortion doula shift for the weekend of Mother’s Day until the night before my shift. At that point, I wasn’t sure what impact it would have on the women I’d be supporting, if any at all. But I was prepared to face any emotional surprises that might trigger the patients, whether they might come from those crappy Hallmark commercials that always end up playing on the television in the intake room, or from the sight of small children sitting with their parents in the larger waiting rooms. Even on a weekend that has nothing to do with parenting, patients are understandably emotional before, during, and after an abortion, and their feelings are complex and intricately intertwined -- relief with sorrow, gratefulness with regret, anxiety with impatience. These thoughts, coupled with exhaustion, hunger, and a deep desire to be at their own homes and in their own beds mean that, even under the best possible circumstances, these days can be hard on anyone.

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Witnessing Our Words

Spring is a deliciously manic season for me. I sit cross-legged on the sidewalk in front of a hospital in Queens, eyes closed and face tilted toward the sun: this is my process for shedding the callous of the previous months seasonal depression, which, despite my best efforts, I get, and then forget about, like clockwork every year. This is the first very warm day in a while. I don't want to move, for fear of ruining it, so I try to see everything through my closed lids. The sidewalk is empty and I'm shameless. Someone shoots me a brief and misguided sympathetic look while tossing change at me.

 

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My first day as an abortion doula

I arrive at the hospital around 9am, head up to the right floor, showing my volunteer ID badge to the security guard as I head toward the elevators.

I round the corner and enter the floor, delicately labeled Women’s Choices where the procedures will take place. I walk into the makeshift office/empty procedure room where the Residents/Doctors who will be performing the procedures sit debriefing the morning’s cases. I’m greeted by the Doula Project coordinator/Counselor at the hospital, and she debriefs with me about the folks on tap for the morning. While everyone is in for a first trimester abortion, the stories are different. Some are elective procedures, some are wanted pregnancies with medical issues–ectopic, fetal demise, etc.

{Read more at Radical Doula...}

 
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The Doula Project is an NYC-based organization that provides free compassionate care and emotional, physical, and informational support to people across the spectrum of pregnancy.

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