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boston abortion support collective Archives - Lavandoula

Five Ways to Grow Your (Doula) Business Without Social Media

In 2011, I made a bold move. About a year after attending my first birth, I decided to quit Facebook. To this day, I’m one of the only self-employed millennials I know who does not have a Bachelor’s degree or Facebook account. I’ve lived in the Boston area this whole time, so my list is specific to things I’ve found helpful to building a practice around home. Many new or aspiring birth doulas reach out to me to gain a better understanding of how to get into self-sustaining practice. Here are five things I’ve found especially helpful in building my practice, without the surveillance and privacy issues of using social media websites.

  1. Networking events. This may be most helpful to newer birth workers in order to get out there, meet expecting families, and get practice quickly answering questions like, “What is your philosophy?” “Why did you decide to become a doula?” and “Can you describe how your style differs from others?” Local to Boston, both Mama & Me in Jamaica Plain and OmBirths via Down Under Yoga have “Meet the Doulas” nights that are free for parents (often drawing a large crowd) and $20-$25 for a doula to sign up. It’s valuable to meet folks who may potentially want to hire you, but also to meet other birth workers in the area who may have different skillsets or might be available as backup.
  2. Grow your referral network. In order to be an asset to your community, you need to know what resources exist in your area that serve the folks you hope to work with. MassBirth is a good place to get started. They have lists of everything from placenta encapsulation to postpartum and lactation support, to mental health counselors.
  3. Know other people who have your dream job? Invite them to tea. Take the fifty minutes you may spend on Facebook in a day, and actually get together with someone who does related work in your area. Getting to know folks on a more personal level makes for a strong network of backup support and will likely get you more referrals in the future.
  4. MassDoulas yahoo group. Created and moderated by the lovely home birth midwife Joyce Kimball, MassDoulas is a place where local birth workers are constantly sharing information, events, clients looking for support.
  5. Volunteer. Yes, birth work is often under-compensated and if you’re called to attend births professionally, you should be well supported in order to make it a sustainable adventure. That being said, if you’re new to birth and nervous to claim Professional Doula Status with confidence, Brigham and Women’s Hospital offers a volunteer birth doula program for teen moms, and you don’t need to be certified in order to attend. It’s a great way to get an idea of what local hospital policies and practices are, and informs work you’ll do with clients for years to come. Even if you don’t have the capacity to volunteer for birth support directly, you could spend time lobbying for initiatives like the Massachusetts bill to cover doulas on MassHealth.

Abortion and Pregnancy Loss Resources

Abortion and Loss

The Boston Abortion Support Collective provides completely free support for people experiencing abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth in the Boston area. We have a small availability of affordable birth doulas, as well!

Backline is a judgement-free resource for folks considering what to do when they find themselves pregnant. They have a free phone line to discuss pregnancy options, and counseling before and after any decisions are made. Backline also started the resource Faith Aloud, in which clergy from various faith traditions are available to non-judgmentally counsel callers through decision making around pregnancy.

The Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund provides small grants to folks who need to access abortion care in Eastern Massachusetts in order to make abortion care more affordable.

The Pregnancy Panic Companion is a teen friendly resource for accurate information about pregnancy scares and available options.

Holding Our Space is an interactive community based around supporting those who have lost a pregnancy in any way. Stories of infertility, miscarriage, abortion, adoption, stillbirth and more are all supported and welcomed.

Support Boston Abortion Support Collective this fall!

I’m really excited to share the fundraiser that the Boston Abortion Support Collective is having this fall.
It’s been a big year for the folks involved with Boston Abortion Support Collective (BASC). We’ve officially changed our name, and recently held our first volunteer retreat after a new volunteer training. Through the years, we’ve organized five abortion support trainings for volunteers, nurtured relationships with Boston-area abortion providers, presented at multiple reproductive justice conferences, undergone a (pretty f’n successful) leadership shift to a collective that prioritizes people of color and other marginalized folks, not to mention: supported a bunch of people who have had abortions. Personally, the clients who I’ve worked with through BASC include survivors of abuse, immigrants without local family or support, folks traveling to Boston from far reaches of New England to get adequate medical care in complicated cases, and many people who literally just can’t get a ride home from a friend or partner.
A little known fact is that when somebody needs anesthesia for an abortion, clinics require a companion to show up at the beginning of the appointment, even if they do not accompany the patient in the procedure room, or else the patient is not allowed to get an abortion. This is true across all clinics in the area, and is one of the most common reasons for support calls we get. Raising funds for BASC will seriously help us formalize a ride support program, so we can make sure that everybody in need has accompaniment for their appointments and can access the healthcare they deserve.
Even a small donation can help us defray the cost of sending a volunteer to accompany someone for a safe ride home. Thanks for reading, for considering making a donation, for being a part of my life and making this work possible for the folks who are doing it!