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Company values

Wombs of the World is committed to being anti-racist, culturally competent and inclusive by centralizing reproductive and social justice in our work.

Inclusivity Statement

Wombs of the World celebrates the spectrum of identities in perinatal spaces. We recognize that birth work is political work, it is advocacy, and it does lead to change. 

We acknowledge that society associates parenting with exclusively cis-gendered heterosexual relationships and women. While birthing women (and those who self-identify as women) are deeply affected by the patriarchal system in which we birth and learn about our bodies, we are COMMITTED to including our LGBTQIAP+ friends because this exclusive hetero-normative language is harmful. This community is already deeply marginalized in reproductive health and wellness. Our role in revolutionizing perinatal health includes recognizing the oppression that this community has felt in their pursuit of happiness. 

In referring to perinatal people, we will use the words woman, person, mother, mama, parent, individual, folks, people, birthers, and any new or old language that is brought to our attention to create a safe and accessible place for all members of our community. 

We also recognize that the world “doula” with its origin in the Greek language, translates to “woman servant” or “woman slave”. Slave is definitely not a word that we want to incorporate into our work or put upon our participants. Further, the word is gendered - and we know that not all doulas are women.  However, the word doula is widely acknowledged and gaining further international recognition. Therefore we will continue using the word, but also offer other terms such as perinatal worker, birthworker, birth keeper, and reproductive specialist.

 

Some of the countries we travel to are not safe for all identities, as the LBGTQIAP+ community is often prosecuted. Wombs of the World is committed to offering safe travel experiences to all participants while respecting different laws and cultures. Within our program, our participants are safe to be wholly themselves. 

We are always committed to growth and welcome feedback and conversation on how to improve inclusion in this space. 

Anti-Racist Birth Work Statement 

We are actively working towards reversing the racist structures that our society and the birth world has been built upon. Black, indigenous and people of color have had their land stolen, generations of labor erased, as well as lost heritage because of societal structures and systems that have continued to take their wisdom and oppress them. 

This oppression continues to be present and is evidenced in the birth world through systemic, structural and institutional racism in addition to abysmal maternal + neonatal mortality rates. 

We are committed to making Wombs of the World accessible for BIPOC birth workers by offering scholarships. We are also committed to educating our participants on how to be accomplices in the fight for reproductive justice and how to be an anti-racist birth worker. 

Dismantling Toxic Volunteer-Tourism and Medical Colonization

"Any western medical institution more than a century old and which claims to stand for peace and justice has to confront a painful truth — that its success was built on the savage legacy of colonialism." -Richard Horton

 

Wombs of the World is not volunteer work. It is an education program where participants pay to grow their skills and to bask in the beauty of different cultures. It is imperative the recognize the harm of volunteer tourism on communities. We tell participants, if you want to have the greatest possible impact, donate the money you are investing in this trip directly to the clinics we will be serving in. This is an opportunity for our participating birth workers to grow and benefit from all facets of the experience. 

 

We actively strive to be the most mindful travelers we can be, investing directly into communities and local non-profits, partnering with midwives and clinics, and dismantling any notions of saviorism. 

 

We see first hand how western medical professionals can enter spaces and immediately try to teach, or criticize the way things are done. This perpetuates cycles of colonialism and classism. 

 

As non-medical birth professionals, our purpose is to offer compassionate care to laboring people. We are not in a position to teach or impose our ideologies on our hosts. If there is an opportunity to share evidence-based information, (such as the benefits of skin to skin), we do so with tremendous respect and humility. 

Cultural Appreciation vs Cultural Appropriation 

"Any western medical institution more than a century old and which claims to stand for peace and justice has to confront a painful truth — that its success was built on the savage legacy of colonialism." -Richard Horton

 

Wombs of the World is not volunteer work. It is an education program where participants pay to grow their skills and to bask in the beauty of different cultures. It is imperative the recognize the harm of volunteer tourism on communities. We tell participants, if you want to have the greatest possible impact, donate the money you are investing in this trip directly to the clinics we will be serving in. This is an opportunity for our participating birth workers to grow and benefit from all facets of the experience. 

 

We actively strive to be the most mindful travelers we can be, investing directly into communities and local non-profits, partnering with midwives and clinics, and dismantling any notions of saviorism. 

 

We see first hand how western medical professionals can enter spaces and immediately try to teach, or criticize the way things are done. This perpetuates cycles of colonialism and classism. 

 

As non-medical birth professionals, our purpose is to offer compassionate care to laboring people. We are not in a position to teach or impose our ideologies on our hosts. If there is an opportunity to share evidence-based information, (such as the benefits of skin to skin), we do so with tremendous respect and humility. 

Why Doula Care?

​A doula is a non-medical, professional support person who offers pregnant women and their families helpful resources, education, hands-on physical support, emotional support, and recognizes and respects the power and agency of the birthing person. 

According to International Childbirth Initiatives' (ICI),  "The 12 Steps to Safe and Respectful MotherBaby-Family Maternity Care", providing continuous care is Step #4. "Continuous support during labor improves outcomes for women and newborns including: a more positive birthing experience, an increase in spontaneous vaginal birth, a shorter duration of labor, a decrease in the number of cesarean and instrumental vaginal births, less need for analgesics and a low 5-minute Apgar score. Such care appears to be most beneficial when given by a person who is present solely to provide support and is not a member of the woman’s own network, is experienced in providing labor support, and has at least a modest amount of training (such as a doula)"

 

These 12 steps have been endorsed by:

  • International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 

  • International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization (IMBCO) 

  • White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA)

  • International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) 

  • International Pediatrics Association (IPA)

  • Lamaze International

  • International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) 

  • Every Mother Counts

  • Bumi Sehat Foundation

  • DONA International

  • Mercy in Action

The beauty of doula care is its accessibility. It does not require additional resources or equipment or technology. It requires giving hearts and a present mind.