Davis has been a doula for six years and says she’s helped more than 20 individuals and families give birth. A self-described “black, Jewish, dyke,” her training started in Brooklyn, New York where she realized she didn’t want to be a midwife. She decided instead to become a doula.
Doulas provide a wide range of pregnancy and childbirth support, which can include childbirth education, prenatal and postpartum care.
“I like to say a doula is from the waist up, and a midwife is from the belly button down,” Davis explains.
Though doulas are not medical professionals, some parents and moms are turning to midwives and doulas instead of traditional hospitals for more support during the birth process.
While Davis warns they’re not the magic wands to a perfect birth, she believes there’s a doula for everyone.
“If you want an Asian doula, there are Asian doulas,” Davis says. “If you want a free doula, there are tons of free doulas. If you want a trans person, there’s trans doulas. There’s literally a doula for everyone.”
Part of Davis’ appeal to clients is her intersectional identity as a black, gay, Jewish woman. She says she has shared the same experiences that queer parents face and recognizes the fears some women of color have about maternal health, which can make her clients feel safer.
Read the rest on NPR.
Big thanks to Esmy Jimenez for this feature
Hi there! I'm Erika Davis and I'm a doula working in the Seattle and South Puget Sound area.