Having children is an act of resistance.
Parenting is an act of resistance.
Birth is an act of resistance.
Reproductive justice is the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.
Yesterday the news broke that an activist mother’s son was lynched. I bet you didn’t expect to find this content on a doula blog – however, it’s exactly where it belongs.
Doula work is reproductive justice.
Doula work is an act of resistance.
We cannot look away from the mothers who hold their children trembling with both joy and with fear. As doulas, we have a responsibility to know this, and to meet these mothers where they are. We have a responsibility to help them find their voice, support them in their decisions – and often the hardest decisions and the most helpless a mother can feel is during her birth.
Doulas help disrupt that. Doulas provide compassion and encouragement to mothers. Doulas guide womxn to find their voice, and to not let it go.
So many of us fear for the safety of our children from the moment we look at a positive pregnancy test. Joy and anxiety swirl in the same rush.
Yet still, we bear children. And we raise them. And we hope and work for a better future for them.
Birthing a baby – your baby – is an act of resistance against the struggles and oppression. That tiny bundle of joy helps change the world. We – you – will not walk in total fear our whole lives long. We live, we love, we have children, we have family – and all of this chips away at the foundations of the oppression. It delivers the future into your hands, instead of the future being predetermined by those who oppress. You will not be robbed of joy.
For all of us who commit acts of resistance by growing families and having children, tell your doula exactly what you need. Have a doula. Ask for payment plans or sliding scale if you need it. You deserve this opportunity for justice, autonomy, and strength while you bring your child into the world and into your family.
And for doulas, who commit acts of resistance by strengthening, supporting, educating, and providing compassion during the growth of others’ families – this too, is an act of resistance. Remember your value, and your deep responsibility to move and act in ways that provide the space for reproductive justice.
Keep resisting, moms, mamas, dads, babas, and all parents. Loving is an act of resistance.