Rad.Girl. Doula

Updated Rad.Girl! Final days before school started and being a student midwife!

Oh, hello!
I can’t keep up. So many things going on! I’m glad I can have a space where I can still blog about birth. So important, specially because life is one non-birth hectic time.

Above is a picture of me crossing the Brooklyn bridge for the first time. As well as going on vacation without my partner. It was tough, and amazing. I met some rad people, and had a great time before diving into school.

School! 
As some of you know, I’m in school at the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University in Toronto. It has been amazing so far. I have already attended a beautiful birth in the company of super helpful midwives as part of school. You can read more about my meanderings with school at http://angrystudentmidwife.wordpress.com/. 

Birth!
Oh, but what a lovely summer of new babies. I kicked it off with a 10hr birth in where 11 people were present. No, 11 people, all family took OVER then birthing room in the hospital and did not let anyone tell them they couldn’t be there when the momma wanted them. What a lovely thing to see family so connected. 
I had a birth from an old classmate. Since it was part of the Scarborough Doula program  I didn’t get to see her until I was there in the room. She was lovely, her mother and father amazing people. She had the baby just a mere 4 hours after the epidural. Lovely family!
Fast forward all summer, and in August, my friend, and political comrade had her beautiful baby at home with midwives. This was a tough, water-filled home birth, and although baby had a slow start, both mom and baby are great. In that birth, I saw the power of midwives, the love of parents and grandparents, and the support of friends coming together. A lovely thing!

So many things I can say, but for now, I leave it at that. Make sure to tell your friends I’m still taking clients, who are preferably due next year (school may kill me!) and I’m still low-income and sliding scale oriented.

So much more to come!

Rad.Girl Ro.  

Dear lovely people who follow this rad girl doula,
I am so excited to let you all know that as of September of 2013, I will be joining the Ryerson University Midwifery Education Program full time! I am completely baffled/excited/soscared about going back to school, but as our current astrology has been hinting at, this is a time to begin taking steps forward to new adventures in life!
I am still taking clients probably until the end of this year. I still love to be with women/people during labour offering non-medical support so much. I can’t wait to incorporate that in my responsibilities as a midwife.
If anyone would like to speak to me about the process, please let me know!
Ro.

Dear lovely people who follow this rad girl doula,

I am so excited to let you all know that as of September of 2013, I will be joining the Ryerson University Midwifery Education Program full time! I am completely baffled/excited/soscared about going back to school, but as our current astrology has been hinting at, this is a time to begin taking steps forward to new adventures in life!

I am still taking clients probably until the end of this year. I still love to be with women/people during labour offering non-medical support so much. I can’t wait to incorporate that in my responsibilities as a midwife.

If anyone would like to speak to me about the process, please let me know!

Ro.

11 months ago 7 notes

Birth, feeding choices affect a baby’s gut bacteria: Study

Researchers used DNA sequencing to analyze the gut bacteria of 24 infants at four months of age. The study, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that the richness and diversity of gut bacteria were lowest among babies born by C-section. Those fed by formula, on the other hand, had richer gut bacteria — but were also more likely to have C. difficile, a pathogen that can cause diarrhea or serious illness.”

Maybe now that we know these things, we could begin to give support to babies who are born under c-section, and to parents who, for one reason or another chose not to or cannot breastfeed.

Another thing is, we are getting better at supporting non-medicated births and supporting breastfeeding right away, we need to continue doing this kind of work, so that people who feel pressured to have medicated births can have alternatives and support. 

Shaming people for choices in birth, or parenting should not be the answer!

 

Happy new year!

I am excited to be in the ad section of Shameless Magazine. This is the only magazine in Canada for young women and girls with anti-oppressive radical and anti-racist politics, as well as being a super f un and interactive magazine! If you have a young one at home, I recommend you pick one of these up in your local Chapters or Book City. Some stores in the US also have them, check out their website!

Ontario’s first birth centre to open in Toronto next summer

I am so excited for this! Finally in this province, a birth centre away from hospitals, but with the care and support labouring people need, specially when home births are not an option, but hospitals seem daunting. 

“Investing in birth centres means women with healthy pregnancies will be able to receive community-based care,”- Lisa Weston, president of the Association of Ontario Midwives.

This is one step closer to bringing women’s/labouring people’s choices into consideration when giving birth, creating cultures of care, support and education about pregnant people, labour and birth and taking back science and medicine into our own terms. So exciting!

Low-risk birth should not be treated as a sickness!

Women are born free in the US but everywhere give birth in chains

Came across this article, while at my daytime job lunch break at The Public 

"The vast majority of incarcerated women are nonviolent offenders who, for the most part, are only guilty of crimes of poverty and addiction, a one-size-fits-all shackling policy is not only unnecessary, but dangerous. Especially since the chances of a woman in the middle of labor going on the lam are almost nonexistent. That should be self-evident, but it seems that no allowance is made for the physical vulnerabilities of women, even when they are pregnant.”

I am not a fan of prison reform, as I believe prisons need to stop expanding, existing, and I know our governments and money needs to go towards better programming, advocacy for youth, anti-poverty strategies, but this kind of abuse needs to stop. Women and people who give birth while in custody already have a precarious situation, and they do not need to be further humiliated while they are doing one of the most important things in their lives. 

1 year ago 4 notes

Happy December!
[Take 3, I have been losing all my posts]

It has been a hectic month in the life of the RadGirlDoula, but it has also been an amazing month for sharing, connecting and talking to other doulas, midwifes and birth educators about our challenges, our goals as communities of care and healing and how our daily work resembles or contrasts these things. 
I am really happy to announce that my friend Mery and I are going to be each other’s back up doula! I have been trying really hard to bring forth my values and beliefs into my practice, so it is very encouraging to have someone on board whom, like me, cares passionately about the people we support, and honour respectfully our client’s history, culture, diversity, family and see the person as a whole complicated and exciting individual.

I have been making medicine in my kitchen! I am particularly excited about the raspberry leaf tincture I just pressed out last night! I usually take it to prepare for menstruation, and I find that if I take some in advance, it really eases the severe discomfort I feel during the flow. Raspberry leaf is a great toner for women and uterus. I have been encouraging my pregnant people to have some leaf tea, or tea infused smoothies to strengthen the muscles down there, and prepare them for the big day. I also have a whole batch, so feel free to ask for some!

November marked a big milestone for my family. My parents celebrated 25 years of marriage, and though I don’t really mind legalities and weddings, I do really enjoy family love and parties! We decided to have a little get-together with some family, and I volunteered to make some guest gifts, or recuerdos of the party. I made some jars filled with hand-made tea bags stuffed with a special blend: Lavender, Rose Petals and Holy Basil; de-stressing, digestive and delicious with honey!

Last but not least there are some online-community updates at RadGirlDoula. First, I have a new tab on this blog (right at the left!) as a way to provide some answers to pretty common questions. Why do I need a doula? explains easily and shortly what doulas do, gives some clinical research background as to the benefits of having a doula at your labour/birth and my response to the age-old question of being a doula who has not experienced labour or birth. Got any feedback? drop me a line! I would really appreciate it.
Second, I got a LinkedIn profile, complete with my information about my other jobs, my skill-sets and my education. Make sure you add me to your connections!

That’s it for me. Enjoy the picture of my cat, he is really cute.
Till soon,
Ro


Rad Girl Doula at the LGBT Parenting Connection

I am ecstatic to have my name and practice as a resource at the LGBT Parenting Connection this fall!

You can find me there. You can also check out my philosophy or practice and how to contact me. I am so excited to be serving my community. This website is an amazing tool for new parents and parents-to-be on the how-to’s and needs for childbirth and parenting tips from an LGBT Perspective.

Check it out, and tell your friends!

RadGirlRo.

Happy autumn!

It has been a while and things have started to get busy in the life of the Rad Girl Doula.

Europe was wonderful, relaxing and everything I needed for a little wile(:

My friend Mery just finished her doula training with Dona International and she has agreed to be my backup doula for the rest of births this year. Thank you Mery.

I am still taking care of the toddler. She is going to be 2 in a few days and I am delighted to be part of her life.

The work of finding clients has been tricky due to my availability as I juggle work and childcare, but continuing working with the Birth Doula Program is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life!

Yesterday, I was the labour support for a wonderful couple, who had a huge healthy and beautiful 9-pounder of a newborn. 24.5 hours after her water broke, she laboured through and through and got the un-medicated birth she was hoping for. What a superstar team her, the partner, and the baby were!

Need a doula? I am available to help you out if your due date is as early as January. Let me know by emailing me, or calling. We can set up a meeting, go for tea, or have a playdate with your little ones to get to know one another.

Loving the chilly wind and wishing everyone warm tea, nettle and gingseng infusions and the many lovely things about the harvest season.

Rad.Girl.Doula
Across the spectrum of pregnancy
905 808 0857
rfvelasquezg@gmail.com