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The Radical Doula Guide: A Political Primer

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  8 reviews

"In August 2012 I published The Radical Doula Guide, a 52 page political primer that addresses the political context of supporting people during pregnancy and childbirth.

The guide provides an introduction to full spectrum doula work—supporting people during all phases of pregnancy, including abortion, miscarriage, birth and adoption—as well as a d
Paperback, 1st, 40 pages
Published August 2012 by self-published
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Zaynab Shahar
After years of hearing about this and hearing people rave about it, i finally got my hands on a copy at Fed Up Fest. This crash course in radical doula activism/birthwork really gives people from all walks of life a lot of things to consider in terms of how to radicalize their birthwork practice. Not only does it cover several axises of oppression, it utilizes the personal narratives of self-identified radical birthworkers to discuss why they became doulas, what disparities they're hoping to add ...more
Jenna Walthour
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This lil primer covers BIG issues that all my other doula training books seemed to have missed. So glad to have found words for my misgivings with other hetero-normative, gender essentialist, "colorblind" readings. Highly recommend to doulas and future doulas.
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Quick read but informative. Would have liked more about what a doula actually does but the discussion around barriers to medical care is very interesting.
Molly Westerman
(There's a more detailed review at my website, First the Egg.)

A very quick read--both because it's quite brief and because of its accessible, friendly, but still thoughtful tone--The Radical Doula Guide would be an important supplement to any doula training. The length of this guide means it doesn't achieve much depth, but--as Perez establishes clearly--its aim is to raise questions and put a thought process into motion.

The takeaway is that doulas should be aware of and educated about the inequa
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: _non-fiction_
An easy-to-understand, inclusive, and short introduction to diversity, privilege, and power issues relevant to providing full-spectrum pregnancy support. I bought a copy because it feels good to have this kind of book within easy reach on my shelf, even though I'm just now exploring an interest in birth activism. The sections on ability, size, and age gave me food for thought.

"Now I see a different group coming into this work. Young people without children but with a passion for health activism
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really appreciate this guide because it brings together several things I am passionate about: full spectrum doula support, social justice, and the radical element of doula work, which the author defines as "making our doula services accessible to those who wouldn't otherwise be able to access them." It provides an overview of the various political and social justice issues that are inextricable from pregnancy/birth work and serves as an excellent discussion-starter about these issues. I'd love ...more
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quick read, decent overview of the politics and ethics behind birthing and doula work. It could stand for an update; there are newer resources on trans pregnancy and parenting. I also could use more info on birth work with incarcerated people.
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I published my review on the Bay Area Doula Project blog:
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Miriam Zoila Pérez is a queer Cuban-American writer and activist focused on race, health and gender.

Pérez is the founder of Radical Doula, a blog that covers the intersections of birth activism and social justice from a doula’s perspective. You might also know her from her work at, where she was an Editor for four years, during which the site was awarded the Sidney J Hillman Prize