Over the past month or so, a new group of SFGH and BADP doulas have come together to focus specifically on supporting women experiencing Induction Terminations at SFGH. The IT Group’s mission is to provide trained doula support to these patients that truly honors the often emotionally heavy and complex—for the patient and the doula—experience of induction terminations. As of now, the IT Group consists of about six full-spectrum doulas, and is looking to expand its membership to SFGH/BADP doulas who are interested specifically in this work.
The group is working on establishing its support protocol, the nuts and bolts of calling in doula support when it’s needed (as sometimes the call for support comes in last minute), as well as setting up a support person for the doula. The IT Group will meet quarterly and attendance at meetings will be mandatory. To participate as a doula in the IT Group, your SFGH badge must be, or will have to be made, current.
Induction Terminations are different from other types of abortions because they happen in the late second and third trimester of pregnancy, take place within a similar timeframe as induced birth, and are done inside the Labor and Delivery center of a hospital, which can add to the patient’s distress. These are usually wanted pregnancies that are being terminated due to fetal anomalies.
Having supported two women experiencing IT, I would describe the experience as somewhat closer to supporting a birth, but with a palpable sorrow. Of course, the experience varies from person to person. I felt very protective of the patient, her alone-ness, due in part to the taboo “nature” of ITs, was very heavy, which likely made me feel very central as a witness. It is emotionally very intense work that requires a lot of self-care to release some of the experience afterward, but I will never forget what it felt like to witness and support to these two women. I will never forget their emotional bravery. This work has given me more empathy and insight into weight of life and death, and the difficult choices parents have to make.
For those of you interested in joining this amazing group of full-spectrum doulas, come to our first general meeting:
IT GROUP MEETING
TUESDAY, MAY 13th AT 6:00 PM
Email Vanessa at Vanessa836@gmail.com for meeting location
Working toward a world in which people of all identities & families of all kinds have support in all their health care needs, with a specific focus on abortion