By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE
DONA International is truly an international organization in every way. Our membership is over 5,000 members strong and represents more than 56 countries around the world. Our birth and postpartum trainers travel to many countries to train and collaborate with doulas and birth professionals. DONA also invites people from many countries to become doula trainers so that trainings can be offered wherever and whenever someone wants one on a global level.
To celebrate the international flavor that makes DONA a rich and diverse organization, I am starting an exciting new series about doula work with birth and postpartum experiences around the world. In order to do this series justice, I would love to have doulas who practice internationally connect with me. Together we can collaborate on individual experiences and share them on the blog. To submit your interest in participating, please fill out the form below.
I am fascinated with how things may be both similar and different for families and doulas globally. I very much enjoy exploring this topic and would like to share some of my favorite resources on this topic.
Babies – The Movie offers a peek into the birth and early parenting experiences in four places around the world. The photography is beautiful and somehow, without a single word in the entire film, this piece conveys the richness of each family’s experience. While the film is only 30 minutes long, it offers great insight into the uniqueness of local customs and values.
A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Eight Societies is a great book. The authors examine birth and parenting customs from eight places and points of time/history. The guide is written as if for people becoming parents at that time and place. There are chuckles and fascinating insight into how things are (or were) done.
One of my favorite books ever on the topic of babies is this “oldie but goodie” from Meredith Small, a medical anthropologist. Our Babies, Ourselves does a great job explaining infant behavior and parenting responses in families on a global level. I first read this many years ago and occasionally re-read it from time to time because it offers great insight into why babies do what they do!
So here is the ask: If you are doula practicing outside of the United States, would you mind filling out this form with some information about yourself and your practice? I will reach out to you and discuss a potential future blog post to be included in this new series. I would love to hear from as many international doulas as possible so please pass the request on to anyone you know. Thank you.