Monday, July 5, 2010

Of unquantifiable value- radical doula services in a capitalist society.

I'm beginning the process of putting together a sort of childbirth education discussion group with my back up doula and a yoga teacher I'm friends with.  I really appreciate it when things just come together organically, as far as organizing things goes.  There have been so many times I've tried to put things together after sitting on it for a long time, only to find that the idea was so much better than actualizing it will ever be.  But this morning was refreshing.  No second guessing, no hang ups.  It's a really sweet thing to find an effective, efficient group of folks who are passionate about getting something done.    

It's making me consider my feelings about charging for my services, though.  As an anarchist, I am definitely cost-prohibited (in reality as much as in theory), not to mention that I think doula services are something that every mama has a right to.  I know that this is something that other radical doulas have struggled with.  What are the implications of applying the capitalist system to childbirth?  Beyond just the thought that health care is a right, but is it appropriate for me to adhere to a hierarchical cash exchange over something with unquantifiable value?  Does that make sense?  I just feel a little hypocritical sometimes with the thought of engaging my sisters in a system that is often oppressive to us (especially mothers).  My practical, mothering mind says, though, that this is what I've got to work with, and that my time and skills are valuable- I am an intelligent, gifted woman who wants to help others- and until we are set up in a different framework, I have to find someway to make my life sustainable now.  I just always feel like I have one foot in and one foot out with a lot of this stuff.

Oh, and to update, I got lazy with the emmenagogues.  I guess I just get to a point where I ultimately trust my body to do what it needs to do, instead of trying to control it or coerce it to doing something that's comforting or convenient.  That's what it's all about, anyway.

1 comment:

DoulaHara said...

I struggle with this also, and with the dominant view of there being two "classes" of birthing women--those who can afford to pay for doula services, and are shopping for a doula as part of a "boutique" birth experience, and those who "really need" the services. I believe everyone deserves a doula, not just wealthy women and not just poor women, and at the same time I believe my skills and my time awy from my family are valuable to me. It gets complicated.

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