Traditionally, doulas support individuals during the intense transformation of childbirth, helping them safely, gently bring their babies into the world. Doulas understand the physiological and emotional processes involved, and offer continuous care and support.
With the Bay Area Doula Project, we extend that unconditional care and support to benefit people during abortion as well. Although the experiences of abortion and childbirth differ, similarities exist in that they are both powerful transitions out of pregnancy, and both necessitate supportive listening and care. The continuous, positive presence of a doula can improve the way a person feels before, during and after their abortion experience.
Abortion doulas provide emotional, physical and educational support to clients who choose to terminate their pregnancies. Doulas accompany the client before and during the procedure, as well as part of the recovery period. Abortion doulas undergo a carefully crafted training program based on curriculum from the New York Doula Project and tailored to client populations in the Bay Area. Many doulas working in abortion also offer birth, miscarriage and adoption support.
The concept of a doula is not new. People supporting one another, through both childbirth and abortion, is a tradition that goes back throughout human history, in every known culture. Often traditional midwives support individuals through both these endings of pregnancy. Many folks today lack close-knit communities where they have loved ones there to support them. Even if they have someone, usually only a trained and approved doula will be allowed into the procedure room with them. A doula helps fill this need for human connection and support by providing constant emotional and physical support to people during their abortions.
THE TYPES OF SUPPORT DOULAS GIVE:
Emotional Support: Listening, giving encouragement, reassurance, and being a continuous physical presence.
Informational Support: Sharing information, explanations and non-medical advice.
Partner Support: Offering role-modeling, encouragement and reassurance.
Advocacy: Facilitating communication between you, your partner and care providers, so that you can make informed choices.
Physical Support: Helping with comfort measures, breath work, massage, relaxation, and more.