Meet the doulas: Gwen Roberts

Who are the doulas who volunteer with the BADP?  They’re amazing, diverse people, doing so much great work in the world, it’s hard to believe any of them has time to volunteer with us. We’ve been using this space to introduce you to many of the BADP doulas.  Today, we’re profiling Gwen Roberts.

Language and visual arts, parent-child bonding and community support are Gwen Roberts’ major fascinations. Before moving to San Francisco in 2007, she completed a BA in literature and religion at New College of Florida. While there she volunteered with the Lullaby League volunteer corps at Cyesis, a school for teen parents. The time she spent with dozens of infants and that exposure to parenting-education planted a seed that would eventually blossom in her doula work.

In San Francisco Gwen’s worked in publishing, as an assistant teacher and after-school-programmer at a K-8 school in the Mission, and as office manager for two fabulous acupuncture practices. She spent a year and a half studying qi gong, tai ji, basic medical Mandarin and natural sciences along with acupuncture and shiatsu. In 2010 she attended the homebirth of her good friend and mentor, and the course of her professional life profoundly shifted. Instead of completing acupuncture school, Gwen decided to become a doula full-time. In the two months leading up to her wedding she trained as a birth doula at Natural Resources, and she hasn’t looked back since! Gwen is a part-time nanny, novice zen practitioner and volunteer with the Long Now Foundation, an avid reader, poet and painter.

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Serious question, how many times have you seen anatomy photos with Black women and Black babies in the womb? At the doctors office, medical books, anywhere?

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This is one reason that keeping abortion legal is not enough. It's already extremely difficult for many people -- even in CA -- to arrange funding, travel, childcare, etc. It's also why we do what we do. When things are already that hard, it's vital to have a support system.

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