The Doula Project
Photo by Ruby Fitch

Welcome to Our New Site!

We are so thrilled to debut our fabulous new website, designed by the multitudinously talented Bryan Reedy! This project has been some time in the making, and we're incredibly grateful to the behind-the-scenes volunteers who've provided countless hours of tech support to the Project over the years. Keep an eye on this spot for our new blog, and be sure to join our mailing list for regular updates on volunteer opportunities, educational programs, and other Doula Project news. We're so lucky to be supported by such a fabulous community, and we can't wait to see what the future brings!

--Media Coordinator Sarah

Introducing Our Photo Match Program!

We're so excited about a new partnership with photographer Seze Devres! We're committed to supporting positive birth experiences for all people, and documenting the first days and weeks of their child's life is a big priority for many new parents. However, many families are unable to afford the costs of a professional photographer. Through our new Photo Match Program, we're offering an opportunity for mothers to support mothers. In partnership with Seze Devres Photography, new parents can purchase infant photo shoots for their own family as well as the family of a Doula Project client. For more information, check out our Photo Match form here.

Photos by Seze Devres

2013 Annual Appeal

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Last year, The Doula Project was named as one of the best non-profit organizations to donate to in The Nation magazine. That’s because since 2007, we have provided full-spectrum doula care to over 10,000 people in the New York City area, free of charge. In addition to providing free birth doula services to people who are not in a position to pay for it and to those choosing adoption, our doulas provide the same benefits to people choosing to terminate their pregnancies: pain management and relaxation techniques, information and education about pregnancy, and above all emotional support and empathy. Our ongoing partnerships with clinics and hospitals allow us to provide an entirely innovative service model.

Traditional doula services are often inaccessible to the people who need them most: low-income people and people without existing support structures. By partnering directly with health care providers, we become part of the clinic structure, seamlessly integrating support into our clients’ experiences regardless of the outcome of their pregnancy. In 2013, we directly supported over 3,500 people choosing abortion or experiencing fetal loss and over 50 births. We have plans to continue to grow our existing relationships and to partner with new locations in the New York City Area.

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last seven years and we look forward to what the future brings! We need your help to do that. Your contributions are needed for ongoing training of doulas locally and nationally, expansion of our local NYC doula services to reach even more low-income clients, and stipends to pay our doulas for their critical services. The Doula Project is supported entirely by individual donations from people like you who believe that all women should have the support they need during their pregnancies. We believe that the work we do continues to be the number one reason to once again be considered one of the best-non- profit organizations to donate to in 2013!

The Doula Project is a 501C3, not-for-profit organization. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible. You can donate online or send checks payable to The Doula Project, PO Box 5172, Astoria, NY 11105

Thank you from all of us!

Celebrating The Doula Project: Our 2013 Benefit!

The Doula Project has a lot to celebrate this year! Not only have we reached more clients than ever before, we have also reached a new crowd of supporters! Bringing together the arts and activism for one special night,The Doula Project 2013 Benefit on October 3 was filled with performances, art, and music, all in the name of celebrating our clients, donors, and doulas.

Doula Project Founders, Lauren and Mary, kicked off the night's festivities with some highlights of the awesome work the doulas have done over the past 6 years, including reaching over 15,000 pregnant people in the NYC area. This got big cheers from the crowd as all the doulas in the room stood up and raised their hands high. Next came performers Chavisa Woods and The Interior who made profound connections between doula activism and the arts through dramatic readings and modern dancing. DJs Juan and Grant set a romantic mood for the evening with inspired dance music, while Daga+Stan Photography helped create a fun,stylish atmosphere with their cameras. The evening closed with our Silent Auction as supporters walked out with records from Led Er Est, The Weal and Woe, Plow United and The Casualties and art from Caitlin Keegan, Liz Zanis, and Brendan Bliss, to name a few. The Benefit was followed by an intimate after-party at The Panther Room hosted by our friends of Subdivision.

As The Doula Project moves into its seventh year, we feel energized by the support, love, and strength of our donors, allies, and friends. Our goal for this event was to not only raise money for our work, but to celebrate our community, our clients, and our selves.

We can't wait to see you all at the next one! Check out all the event photos at our Facebook page

Fundraising Party at Nomad

Fundraising Party at Nomad
78 Second Avenue
Wednesday, July 10th @ 6:30 PM

Please support The Doula Project by joining us on Wednesday July 10 for cocktails, dinner, and inspired conversation at our 2013 Fundraising Party.

Meet the founders of the Doula Project and get to know us personally as we continue to build our community of support, while enjoying a carefully constructed six-course Mediterranean-inspired dinner with unlimited wine. Then take home a gift bag of hand-selected items to remember what is sure to be a fantastic evening.

The Doula Project is a privately funded organization, and the money raised by this event will go directly toward bringing doulas to action in our community.

The Doula Project has currently worked with over 10,000 patients throughout the spectrum of pregnancy, and we have trained over 100 doulas in our five-year tenure. Your donation keeps this momentum going by funding the development and implementation of doula trainings, by supporting doula education through conferences and networking events, and to provide doulas with the resources they need to help our clients.

We look forward to seeing from you on this special night!

Tickets to this event are $200, $150 of which is tax deductible. Please RSVP to Board President Wendy Nguyen at wendy@doulaproject.org.

Doula Project Fundraiser: Contra Dance and Pie Auction!

Please join us for a night of festivities in honor of The Doula Project! ....and also the 30th Birthday Party of the Doula Project's Fearless Accountant Lauren White! Who has agreed to make this her birthday party on one condition! That it be a...

Contra Dance! - (http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Contra_dance) with The Ok Pals (http://www.joedepaolo.com/ projects.html). It's ok that you have NO IDEA what that is. It's also ok that you have secretly stolen off to Western Mass every fall to get your fix. This is a New England style line dance and you will learn Everything You Need to Know when you get here! The Contra Dance begins PROMPTLY at 8:30pm!

The Flanks! (http://theflanks.com/) start off the evening at 8pm. They "play feel-good, sing-along, dirty country-folk... Behind their deceptive simplicity hides a bunch of very good musicians. Clever original songs, funny lyrics—swinging, bluesy top-shelf entertainment with no false pretenses."

Rude Mechanical Orchestra (not 100% confirmed, but we're crossing our fingers!) http:// rudemechanicalorchestra.org/ New York City's radical marching band and dance troupe. Through music and performance, they strive to support people and communities working for social justice.

Pie Auction! - In the spirit of New England we're looking for folks to bake their favorite pie recipes to donate to our pie auction! Or, if you don't like to bake, but you know how to draw: Donate an artistic rendering of a pie to our pie auction! Email andiegersh@gmail.com if interested.

ALSO:

Wine & Beer!

Snacks!

EVEN MORE DANCING!

About the Doula Project! (and why this cause is important!):

The goal of The Doula Project is to train birth workers and reproductive health advocates from the NYC community and nationwide to become doulas, or people who accompany women choosing adoption, abortion, or parenting through their experience from start to finish. We offer non-judgmental emotional, informational and physical support and companionship for all reproductive choices and hope to help them feel empowered in making the right decisions for their lives.

YOUR DONATIONS WILL HELP US CONTINUE TO DO THIS WORK, HELP OUR PROJECT GROW!

$10-30 Sliding Scale for Entry. No one turned away.

Where's My Old Cheerleader Skirt?

I’m still fairly new to this whole reproductive rights scene as an advocate, not just a participant. In the past I’ve only been concerned with my own choices. Now I continually get to discuss other people’s journeys and their choices. As an activist and as a doula, I get to stand with these people. My own personal choices take a backseat, as I become absorbed in every one's rights, not just my own. I got to have my first in-depth birth control talk this week.

A lovely woman, mother and wife went through a vacuum aspiration that she had kept private from her husband. She is primarily a Spanish speaker, but could see I am definitely (and unfortunately) not, so we were both patient with each other as we chatted in the recovery room. I asked why she wanted to start using birth control pills and if she felt like it would be easy implementing them into her daily routine. Pills were just what she was most familiar with though she had never used them before. I suggested she think about some of the other methods available especially if birth control was something her husband did not agree with and she felt would be a secret.She went home with more information and she earnestly said she would think about this decision more.

While this woman was extremely open with her circumstances, I was careful not to assume too much. I wasn’t sure if her husband was totally against birth control in a controlling way and I don’t want to necessarily condone dishonesty in a relationship. She had bigger questions she maybe needed to deal with and I would have gladly talked about them had she wanted. I succeeded in not stepping on her toes and not prying in a way that made her uncomfortable. As it stood though, I had to respect her autonomy as a woman making her own reproductive choices. If she wants to take birth control and keep it secret to stay with her husband, I will stand with her in that decision, because it is hers and it is extremely important that it is hers.

We all end up in less-than-perfect situations in our less-than-perfect lives. In those stinky moments, we need someone standing with us being our personal cheerleader saying, “You did it! You made a decision!” That moment stands without judgement. It doesn’t matter if it was “right” or “wrong.” It’s a moment of autonomy in a life we otherwise might be confined in.

I’ve known one of my roles as a doula is to support an individual's power. This week that role was a big focus for me and I feel a little more prepared to doula the world now.