Doulas are folks who “mother the mothers” during and after pregnancy. They help guide women through the physical and psychological changes that come during birth by sharing knowledge gained through courses and the experiences of other women.

While doulas provide non-clinical support to a woman (and her partner), a radical doula simply holds different politics. Radical doulas are frequently pro-choice (many of them offer their services through the process of abortion as well as birth), queer or gender variant, people of colour and may or may not ever see themselves as having children.

Compared to the traditional notion of doulas and midwives as seasoned mothers who can support new mothers, radical doulas add new layers of difference.

Though the definition of a radical doula is still evolving, these activists have their work cut out for them. Part of their work involves connecting seemingly unlikely folks together: abortion advocates and birthing rights activists, or queer activists and female-identified pregnant women.

The end goal of these conversations is to recognize the overlapping end goals. If a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion is compromised, the likelihood of her enduring an unnecessary C-section might be higher as well. Trusting women is important at all levels when choosing contraception, birthing styles and whether to terminate a pregnancy.

Radical doulas are popping up all over the web. Check out this comprehensive directory of radical doulas.