Although we hoped to hold in-person groups at Modern Mama Midwifery‘s office in 2020, I still wanted to offer a space for new parents who identify as LGBTQ+ to gather, find camaraderie and build community. This digital “brunch” will be hosted by myself – queer birth and postpartum doula, and is intended mainly as a space for LGBTQ+ identified parents with kiddos under 1 year of age. We’ll meet 10-11:30am Sunday, June 14. Suggested donation for attending is $5. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the attendance list!
Postpartum and Lactation Support
Postpartum Progress and Postpartum Support International promote awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing in every country worldwide. They also have a Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for Women of Color
Rachel Hess is an experienced and LGBTQ-friendly postpartum doula who also hosts parenting groups around Jamaica Plain.
Sophie Davis is a dear friend and postpartum doula, serving areas surrounding Newton.
The Every Mother Project provides training & support to birth, postpartum, lactation, and women’s health professionals who work with women and families in the childbearing year in order to reduce barriers that women with perinatal emotional complications face when accessing care.
Jewish Family and Children’s Services Center for Early Relationship Support provides a multitude of free support for young families in the Boston area. You do not have to be Jewish to utilize their services. They have support groups, therapy, and experienced moms who visit new ones to help you get the hang of feeding and caring for your little ones.
One of my doula mentors, Maria Dolorico, started A Mom is Born as a doula business, and has branched out into life coaching, lactation consulting, and holding groups for new parents in downtown Boston. She also offers a free online support course for families on how to plan for the postpartum period.
Zip Milk is a search engine for lactation consultants (LCs) in your area by zip code.
LC Home Visits contains a list of Boston-area international board certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs). In Massachusetts, it is required for insurance to cover lactation support.
BFAR is a resource for folks who want to breastfeed but have had breast/chest or nipple surgery in the past. Whether someone has had a diagnostic surgery, implants or a reduction, this website contains information about increasing the best chances for a healthy milk supply.
Milk Junkies is the website of trans dad, Trevor MacDonald. Once famous for being barred from La Leche League meetings, he now leads them locally in Canada and continues to blog about queer parenthood.
A mini study (22 participants) on transmasculine folks, chestfeeding and gender identity.
Boston-area breastfeeding support groups:
Jacqui Morton is a doula, writer and founder of Holding Our Space, a participatory project centered around healing from reproductive loss. She also backs me up for births.
Maria of That Darn Doula is one of my backups in the area. She currently apprentices with a local home birth midwifery practice, and has experience at all local hospitals as well. She also backs me up for placenta encapsulation!
Tuly Duprat is an experienced birth doula who I connected with at Mama and Me. She is based in Malden, and has excellent rebozo skills. Tuly also speaks Portuguese.
Teresa Vittorioso-Fortin is a birth doula who offers childbirth classes through her practice, Entera Doula. She frequents Mount Auburn Hospital and is also fluent in Spanish.
Sierra at All Bodies Birth is a local birth and postpartum doula who especially loves to support LGBTQ+ families.
Jen at Douladventure brings her public health background to her work as a birth and postpartum doula in Boston.
Beantown Babies is the combined project of doulas Emily and Lindsay. This amazing community space in Roslindale offers many things to new and growing families. From meditation workshops with Sophie, to childbirth ed classes with Teresa and acupressure for labor workshops with Ece, Beantown Babies has offerings that can enrich and support the pregnancy and birthing journeys of many local families.
Spinning Babies is a resource for fetal positioning and how it can affect labor. Tips for daily exercises/movements for getting baby engaged in the pelvis, as well as supportive labor positions can be found online.
The Miles Circuit is another series of simple movements to gently move baby into optimal positions for labor and delivery.
Mama and Me in Jamaica Plain offers a wide range of prenatal, postpartum, and child development classes for families in the Boston area. They host a bimonthly “Meet the Doulas” event that I frequently attend.
Doula Match is a search engine for folks looking for birth or postpartum doula support. You can compare profiles, availability, skillsets and experience all on one site.
My current favorite podcast, Fertility Friday is an amazing resource with TONS of free information about body literacy and the fertility awareness method. She has interviews with many fertility professionals around the topics of endometriosis, PCOS, thyroid disorders, autoimmunity, diet and lifestyle.
The Fertility Awareness Center can be a great beginner-friendly resource for tracking fertility cycles and getting to know your own signs of fertility. They do use lots of gendered language throughout the site. There is this little note about how fertility awareness tracking isn’t only just for straight, monogamous cis-women.
Angela Bell is an acupuncturist in Cambridge whose entire practice focuses on supporting fertility, conception and pregnancy.
New Moon Acupuncture is my dear colleague Ece’s practice includes acupuncture, moxibustion, manual therapies, nutritional counseling and lifestyle recommendation. She is based in Watertown.
Fertile Ground is a queer-friendly nurse and midwife team who provide compassionate gynecological care, fertility consultations and inseminations in the Boston area.
Susanna Mauzy at Nightingale Midwifery offers a full-spectrum of home birth midwifery care. She also offers fertility counseling and at-home insemination support. Susanna also runs the local International Cesarian Awareness Network groups in Arlington, MA.
Birthing Beyond the Binary hosts queer-friendly conception and childbirth education workshops online. They also have workshops for providers on how to support queer families in their practices. Online groups for queer families can be found here, as well!
Maia Midwifery is the practice of west-coast midwife, Kristin Kali. She offers individualized fertility counseling online, and conception support in person in Seattle. Her practice is built around supporting the needs of the LGBTQ community, parents conceiving over age 35, and single parents. She shares an amazing resource list with examples of known donor contracts, and parenting agreements for families who have more than two parents.
Choice Moms Podcast has a large amount of discussions and information surrounding fertility, conception, building a family as a single parent, adoption, conception with donor sperm and many topics related to these.
Last week, I had the pleasure of making a little video interview with local acupuncturist, Angela Bell. She often works with folks who are trying to conceive (including with IVF and other fertility treatments), as well as during pregnancy and generally focuses her practice on women’s health. More about her practice can be found on her Facebook and website.
One thing I so adore about Angela is her desire to connect and highlight others who are birth workers in the Boston area. She holds networking events, and has continued to host a video series on her social media pages for other birth workers to highlight their work. She’s chatted with doulas, massage therapists, midwives, yoga instructors, lactation consultants and others about the work we all do with clients.
In our 30 minute interview, we cover what it means to be a “full-spectrum” doula. I talk about why I decided to become a doula, the work I do with the Boston Doula Project, how others doing this work can best support LGBTQ+ families. We also chat about placenta encapsulation, my practice in Western herbal medicine and what it means to be an advocate for folks in all of this work. If you’re interested to get to know me a little better, check out this video interview!
As a toLabor trained birth doula, I only recently started listening to the toRaise Doula Podcast, produced by the executive director of the organization, Thérèse Hak-Kuhn, and Richmond Virginia doula, Melanie Headley. Thérèse was actually the woman who facilitated my training in 2010, and hearing her voice brings me right back to my first intensive exposure to birth work! In listening to the recent episodes of the podcast, I realized Thérèse often uses gender neutral language when speaking broadly about pregnancy. She has extensive experiences in working with families, mothers and women in labor, but I wanted to send her a note of appreciation for not excluding everybody else in her choice of language.
Much to my surprise, she wrote back immediately to let me know she was planning on a podcast focused on supporting the LGBTQ community, and admitted she was actively working to be a better ally. She invited me to be on the show to talk about my experience being a queer doula, and to talk about how doulas can best support queer families.
Check out my interview on the August 3rd episode of the toRaise questions doula podcast, #83 How To Support the LGBTQ Client, on Stitcher, libsyn or iTunes! Also take a look at the toLabor website, where they’ve posted a list of resources that we talked about in this episode.
In mentioning the “list of midwives and birth workers who are against using gender neutral language,” I wanted to add a few more details. When Midwives of North America (MANA) announced last year that they were adding gender-neutral language to their core competencies documents, a list of birth workers identified as “Woman-Centered Midwifery” (including Ina May Gaskin herself!) wrote an “Open Letter To MANA,” opposing the use of language to include anybody who is not a cisgender woman. I’d link to their letter or website, but it seems to have since gone absent from the internet! Luckily, Birth for Every Body, a community of queer-friendly birth workers quickly organized to write a response to their letter. Snopes has a little article about how this went down, and how the experiences and opinions of the trans community have been completely misunderstood by much of the midwifery community.
There is a great list of gender and queer parenthood related resources on the Birth for Every Body website.