Ms. Jean-Louis spoke to my Soc 2050 (Social Problems: Reproductive Inequality) students about her work as a birth doula. The students—mostly sophomores and juniors—were riveted by her talk. Adriana deftly wove together a brief history of childbirth in the US, with contemporary discussion of black maternal mortality, hospital interventions (like Pitocin and c-section), and current reproductive justice legislation. She described the value of doulas—for the empowerment the provide to birth parents, and the safe entry they help secure for babies. Adriana is doing the work of the women’s movement, on the front lines. Her love of birth parents, and of her work, was inspiring. I wouldn’t be surprised if my students approach childbirth quite differently from here on, thanks to her talk. I also wouldn’t be shocked if one of them decided to pursue a similar career path after speaking with her. I can’t wait to invite her back!

Dr. Amanda Kennedy

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women's & Gender Studies

Curry College

 

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