The Papaya Workshop at Hampshire College

PapayaWorkshopHampshireThe Civil Liberties and Public Policy program at Hampshire is hosting an amazing lot of Fall 2015 events. One of which is a Papaya Workshop, or “how to use a manual vacuum aspirator using a papaya as a uterine model,” with me, from the Boston Doula Project!

I’m lucky to have the week between on-call windows for birth clients, and I will head to the lovely western part of this state to help educate reproductive justice activists on how simple an abortion can be (mechanically). The workshop will be aimed toward those without clinical experience. As an educator of abortion doulas, I know how helpful it can be to see these tools in use before ever coming across them in clinic.

A Full-Spectrum Fertility Chart

A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to teach first year apprentices at the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism while the school’s co-directors, Katja and Ryn, were out in Colorado at the American Herbalist’s Guild Symposium.

It was a really fun weekend. Kim from Blue Vervain Farm facilitated children’s health, my beloved roommate Gavin taught about men’s health from a refreshingly queer perspective, Danielle at Growing Habits helped with our cold  and flu season materia medica and I was able to teach about women’s reproductive health from my full-spectrum doula perspective.

I began with giving some background on the fertility cycle. We are born with 4 million follicles. By the time we reach puberty, we have about 40,000, ready to mature one (or two)-at-a-time to be ovulated. Progesterone warms us, many hormones constantly in flux. Nobody’s cycle is quite as picture-perfect as the one I had fun drawing as a teaching tool.

Visual aids help teach fertility awareness
Visual aids help teach fertility awareness

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak about fertility, pregnancy prevention, birth control options, miscarriage, abortion, abortion options, pregnancy in the first, second and third trimester, labor, birth, breastfeeding and postpartum considerations all in one day. (Not to mention the herbs! It is an herb school, afterall…)

It is true that while nearly one third of pregnancies end in miscarriage, it is one of the most silenced fertility experiences. It is true that while one third of women in the US will have an abortion before age 45, cultural stigma hides that “normalcy” from the mainstream. It is true that while the majority people who choose to have an abortion are already parents, our cultural dialogue around fertility states that abortion and birth are two opposites, never to be touched upon in the same sentence, never to be considered within the same lifetime.

As a doula, I have supported women who struggled to conceive for years, after having miscarriages medically managed by D&C procedures. I have supported survivors of violence, who had to terminate pregnancies that resulted from brutal attacks on their bodies. I have supported substance users choosing abortion, queer families choosing gestational parenthood, and single moms bereaving their babies, born still. My practice is full-spectrum.


Medication Abortion Workshop

Putting the medications for abortions into our hands – what every activist needs to know, with Susan Yanow
Wednesday, March 25 2015, 6-8:30pm
At Encuentro 5, Harrison Ave.

Around the world in countries where abortion is legally restricted, women have used misoprostol to safely end an unwanted pregnancy. Many women have brought that knowledge with them to the US, and as more abortion restrictions pass in the States, people are turning to self-induction with abortion pills. This workshop will share the WHO approved protocol for using misoprostol and explore the unique context of the U.S., where abortion is legal but increasingly unavailable.

About Susan Yanow: A long-time reproductive rights activist, Susan works to expand access to abortion domestically and nationally through consulting projects with organizations including Ibis Reproductive Health, the Reproductive Health Access Project and Venture Strategies (VHSD). She is a cofounder of Women Help Women, an international organization that provides abortion and contraception services, and of Expanding Abortion Services in the South(EASE). Susan serves on the Boards of the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women, and Chennai Children.

Free and open to the public. If you want to give something back in exchange for this information about abortion access, we invite you to make a donation to the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund . You can find Boston Doula Project’s fundraising page for the EMA fund here: Thank you!

Boston Doula Project Holds Upcoming Training

Interested in becoming an abortion Балкан doula? Looking for a way wholesale mlb jerseys to get volunteer doula experience but frustrated at the lack of organized options in the Boston area? Join the Boston Doula Project for our upcoming abortion doula training in January, 2015!

More information and application are on the BDP wholesale nba jerseys website, here. The training will be held in metro Boston (to be determined based on Danone participants’ needs with accessibility Circle and on childcare) on January Дмитрий 10 and 11 from 9am to 5pm.

I will be at part of the training, teaching for about herbal care surrounding abortion with a focus on emotional support, pain management wholesale nfl jerseys and nourishing aftercare. Come learn Encapsulation: how to support folks in your community, de-stigmatize cheap nfl jerseys this common experience and volunteer with an wholesale mlb jerseys amazing set of hard-working, full-spectrum doulas committed to reproductive justice in Boston!