F*ck The Vulva Police
There are many training organizations to choose from when you are pursuing a career as a doula or childbirth educator. Oftentimes these organizations have requirements for their members and standards of professionalism that are expected to be upheld.
Makes sense, right? Except for when those principles involve policing vulvas.
Unbelievably, one of our country’s well known certifying bodies is actively doing just that.
When an organization requires their childbirth educators to have given birth ‘naturally, free of pain medication’ and to have ‘breastfed a child for 12 months or more’ they are sending messages that I cannot ignore.
These words strike a cord with me on multiple levels. What’s being said here is not okay, or ethical in any way. And it certainly doesn’t align with the industry’s goal of leaving birth better than how we found it. This doesn’t improve maternity care. It’s causing it great harm.
These restrictions tell a hidden story that says: We don't support fathers. We don't support infertility. We don't support LGBTQ+. We don't support cesarean births. We don't support bodily autonomy. We don't support obstetrics. And also… We don't stay updated enough to know that 'physiological birth' is the correct term. Not 'natural birth.'
Among many other hurtful implications.
Your vulva, or lack thereof, should never be part of your job requirements.
Many have argued that they are a business and can do whatever they please, including harboring dangerous biases such as these. As consumers, it’s our responsibility to be accountable and mindful where we spend our money.
Do you really want to do it with an organization that so blatantly judges parents and perpetuates racial disparities and misogyny through forcing a borderline-rape-culture agenda? I surely don’t.
We value every parent, not just the ones whose vulvas meet some misguided preconceived notion of what the qualifiers for parenthood are.