Doulas, Racism, and Whiteness: How Birth Support Workers Process Advocacy towards Women of Color
Systemic racism is embedded in healthcare settings and is linked to high maternal mortality rates for Black women in US Society. Doulas, or birth support workers, are uniquely positioned to advocate for women of color going through the birthing process, but little is understood on how doulas come to terms with race, racism, and whiteness in maternal healthcare settings. Using qualitative in-depth interviews with 11 doulas in northeast Florida, this research study found that doulas’ advocacy for maternal justice leads to an intersection with racial justice through their support of minority women clients. Doulas shared stories of racial injustice when they compared their white and Black client experiences, leading to shifting strategies to address racism in maternal healthcare settings. Doulas also grappled with their connection to whiteness through their own identities and interaction with white and minority clients. Many doulas shared a need for anti-racism training and recruitment of Black doulas to meet the needs of women of color going through the birthing process.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Salinas, J. L., Salinas, M., & Kahn, M. (2022). Doulas, Racism, and Whiteness: How Birth Support Workers Process Advocacy towards Women of Color. Societies, 12(1), 19. MDPI AG. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/soc12010019