Brought to you by

Amy I. Catania, CD(DONA) Doula, Birthing From Within® Mentor and Anti-Violence Advocate

Learn more about Amy.

Rachel Dolan Wickersham CD(DONA), LCCE, CPM, Doula,
Midwife and Doula Trainer

Learn more about Rachel

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New Resource for Pregnant Trans* Parents

H/t to Radical Doula for information about this new website designed to help trans* parents find trans* friendly providers: Trans Birth:

Trans Birth is a directory created to connect trans* and gender non-conforming people and their families to midwives, OBGYNs, and doulas who provide welcoming care to our communities.

Categories include Midwives, OBGYNs, Doulas, and Other Providers. It does not have a category for Childbirth Educators/Classes, but perhaps that could be included under Other Providers.

As of this writing there is no one listed from Chicago or Illinois. Let’s change that! If you’d like to be listed, here’s your chance.

Radio Interview on Birth Trends and Midwives

ChicagoDoula’s own Rachel Dolan Wikersham (who in addition to being a doula is also a Ceritifed Professradiowavesional Midwife or CPM) joined local Certified Nurse Midwife, Hillary Keiser today on WBEZ’s Morning Shift with Tony Sarabia. In addition to addressing concerns of several callers, they explained the difference between types of midwives, discussed the opposition of MDs in Illinois to licensing CPMs, and went further into details about homebirth and requests some parents are making in birthing such as delayed cord clamping. Listen to the full interview here:

Skeptical SIL Turned Doula Spokesperson

doula Here’s a delightful, eloquent, funny post from myrubygirl.com, a mother of three who had never heard of a doula before recently attending her brother and sister-in-law’s second birth.

If you’ve had a doula or been a family member who has worked with one, or you are one yourself, you’ll find lots to relate to here. There are so many things to love about this piece and the way it personalizes the benefits of doulas. Here are just a few highlights that I particularly like:

- She’s is so right-on about the whole Pacific Northwest vs. Midwest crunchy-by-association thing. And the doula=birkenstocks and patchouli oil thing! As someone who grew up in Chicago but lived in Portland, OR, I get that. All. the. time. And yes, I recycle, but nuh uh, I do not wear patchouli or Birkenstocks. Doulas really do come in many forms – as evidenced in her post as well as here and here.

- Doulas work the room! We definitely do. This is one of the under-discussed but utterly worthwhile and fulfilling parts of my job. When I am doula-ing, I often get to meet fascinating, loving extended family members. We go through such an intense experience together as labor unfolds and their new little one arrives. It is always an honor and a privilege to be “their doula” and an honorary member of the family, even if just for a little while. She may give short shrift to dads, but she is right that a doula will be helpful for everyone in the room, not just mom.

- Do we all have that person in our family who snaps pictures like the author of that blog?! I certainly do in mine. And I recognize and have given that “universal look of annoyance” to a tee.

A word of caution: there may be potential triggers here for some folks in the author’s description of a contrasting birth she witnessed where there was no doula present  – and things did not go well for the birthing mother or her labor support team. But if you can, don’t let that stop you – in fact it makes the post that much richer.

Enjoy. And here’s to the converted!

Illinois’ First Birth Center…Finally!?

Check out this excellent Crain’s Chicago Business article about the hoped-for opening of Illinios’ first free-standing birth center.  It offers some interesting inside information on what it took to get the birth center bill passed. It turns out an assistant to the Illinois Senate President is married to a certified nurse-midwife! The story goes, once the president gave the bill his support, it finally took off. But it still took another 5 or 6 years after that to get everything in place for a potential opening – potential because the license has yet to be granted. Just goes to show how incredibly difficult it is to pass any state-wide legislation that the Illinois State Medical Society, a major campaign contributor, opposes.