A couple weekends back, BADP Volunteers Adriana Guerra, Mar Schupp, and Vanessa Norton spent a hot, sunny Saturday at the Women’s Health Services (WHS) clinic in Sacramento, where they were oriented to join the other full-spectrum doulas at the WHS clinic in Santa Rosa. The orientation included an overview of OSHA policies, the clinic’s practices, a role play, and disucussion on how we as doulas could support the patients.
Adriana Guerra chose to volunteer at WHS so she “could use her doula skills in a clinical setting, since [she] hasn’t had the opportunity to do so. [Adriana] also wanted to gain more experience in advocating for the pregnant person’s decision to choose whichever outcome they want with their pregnancy.”
Vanessa feels the same as Adriana. “But it’s also my curisoity that drives my desire to support women in a clinical setting. I like to understand how a clinic works, and having had an abortion in a clinic myself, I really feel close to the need for emotional support, at least that it be available. The experience of abortion should not have to suck.”
Last Friday, BADP Volunteers Vanessa Norton and Megan Messinger drove up to Santa Rosa and supported three patients. It was a particularly low-key day; other days, the clinic serves closer to 20 patients. Vanessa said, “as this was my first day as a doula at a clinic supporting a patient I had not met previously, I mostly observed and learned. As a doula, I offered my hand, breathing techniques, and words of encouragement and support. Both of the patients expressed gratitude to the three women in the room–doctor, assistant, and myself–for being ‘so pleasant,’ but neither wanted my hand. Everyone’s needs are different.”