How would you describe your work & what do you hope to accomplish?
I would describe my work as a doula and birth professional as a radical form of essential activism, with the intention of revolutionizing birth culture and encouraging childbearing people to demand the proper agency and respect through pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding. I believe that mothers and nurturers of infants are the backbone and foundation to a healthy society. The racial disparity in our country is a tragedy resulting from unnatural causes.
A report from the ICTC notes:
“Despite widespread calls to reduce the infant mortality, preterm birth, and low birthweight rates in the United States, racial disparities in birth outcomes persist, with African-American infants remaining the most vulnerable. In 2013, the rate of preterm birth for African-American infants was nearly double that for white infants. Known medical, genetic, and/or sociodemographic factors alone do not account for these disparities, leading researchers to examine race and the experience of racial discrimination as independent risk factors for affecting maternal, infant, and child health.”
With my work I hope to accomplish multiple things, I want to address the birth gap among POC and work to close that gap of infant and birthing mortality by spreading awareness and actively supporting families of color in the childbearing process. I hope to empower birthing families to choose what path they want to take. Supporting a pregnant individual through an abortion or adoption process as an emotional advocate is really important to me, because I believe when womb-bearing and non-womb-bearing people have choices they are healthier, which leaves our society healthier in the long run.
Can you talk about the evolution of your work?
It started with having children of my own, and realizing how little emotional support I was receiving had affected my entire experience down to having postpartum anxiety shortly after my first was born, I knew I needed to be a part of this movement to encourage birthing people to take back autonomy over their bodies.
Is collaboration something you incorporate into your practice? Why or why not?
Absolutely, I love to collaborate with other doulas and birth professionals, this is not a competitive success-driven passion for me; it is a sincere desire to better our world and I believe that’s accomplished when we help each other professionally to meet the needs of our client base. Knowing how to stay aware, receptive and embracing growing and evolving is essential to birth work and done best with the guidance of our peers.
What is your philosophy for doing activism?
My philosophy is that activism should be and is a daily thing, because no matter what we do, we are being active in something, whether actively apathetic, actively passive, actively ignoring the issues in the world, or actively engaging the world around us, our community, asking questions, demanding changes locally with a global effect in mind, I feel like that is how I try to operate moment to moment, with an awareness of the bigger picture and an awareness how I want to impact my world.
Who is your favorite feminist mover, maker and/or shaker?
So many, but Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche has inspired me profoundly since the beginning of my journey into active feminism.
What was the best advice you were given as a mover, maker and/or shaker?
Never forget your place or your privilege
How do you make your work more inclusive?
I try to stay informed, ask questions, hear from marginalized individuals on what they are needing, I keep my prices as low as I can and offer payment plans to make my services accessible to low income families.
Who would make your top 5 feminist icons list?
What do you wish people understood about your area of interest within feminism?
I wish people understood that it’s for everyone, it isn’t from a place of hating men or thinking they are less than, because really, we respect men enough to know that they are capable of more than society tells them, that they are not animals who can’t control themselves, that they are gentle and good dads and emotionally attentive. We are tired of the narrative that has failed all of us for generations, selling men short.
What are a few ways our readers can support the work you’re doing?
Like my Facebook Page and share the information with pregnant people in your life! Support my work by supporting planned parenthood, and other organizations that provide women with reproductive choice and information. Hire a doula! Any doula local to you, supporting other doulas, which in turn makes having a doula a more normal thing to do!
Are you a Feminist Mover, Maker & Shaker? We would like to share the important work you do. Learn more here.
I’m Alexandra, I am a mother of two and a doula from Tacoma Washington with a certification in lactation education and a passion for empowering childbearing people. I believe that leaving birthing persons healthy and respected during and after their labor can change the world. I have a heart for justice and I am always trying to impact my community as positively as I can.