Anthropology in Action
Additional Publication URL
Birth doulas provide non-medical intimate support to pregnant people and their families. This support starts at the very foundation of life – breath. Doulas remind, encourage and accompany people through labour by breathing with them. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted doulas’ intimate work, and they are forced to navigate new restrictions surrounding birth practices. Based on data collected from a qualitative survey of over five-hundred doulas as well as subsequent follow-up interviews with select doulas, we find intimacy at births disrupted and reshaped. We suggest that an analysis of doulas provides a unique way to think through the complexities surrounding reproduction precisely due to doulas’ ability to navigate intimate labour between and across boundaries.
Castañeda, Angela N. and Searcy, Julie, "Practising Intimate Labour: Birth Doulas Respond during COVID-19" Anthropology in Action / (Spring 2021): 21-24.
Available at https://digitalcommons.butler.edu/facsch_papers/1437