A full spectrum doula is a support person who brings the doula model of care to any pregnancy discourse and outcome, including miscarriage, planned abortion or medical termination, stillbirth, surrogacy or adoption. A full spectrum doula acknowledges that those who have had past traumatic experiences regarding pregnancy and childbirth carry those experiences with them, and they will ultimately have a different experience of pregnancy than many might expect. We provide support for any situation, unexpected or otherwise. We are reproductive justice advocates and womb warriors, and we believe that every pregnant person deserves dignity, respect and support. A full spectrum doula believes that their work is not just in childbirth, but that it covers the entire spectrum of pregnancy outcomes.
According to Miriam Zoila Pérez, who wrote a primer about “radical doulas,” a full-spectrum doula refers to one who gives support to people during birth as well as other realities of pregnancy: miscarriage, lethal fetal anomaly, stillbirth, abortion, and even adoption. “I love the way it highlights how we provide support regardless of the pregnancy outcome,” she wrote. “It also makes sense to me because a person who starts out their pregnancy planning on a birth might instead end up with an abortion, a miscarriage, or an adoption. Why would we turn them away if the outcome changed?” ~ In Deep Red America, The Rise of the Abortion Doula
You can watch Miriam talk about full spectrum doulas below:
There are no formal training programs for “Full Spectrum Doulas,” so to become a FSD you would take a collection of trainings, workshops, and specialized programming to fulfil all the areas. That is not to say that you can’t be a FSD without “formal” training in every single area, you can attain the skills needed through your own experience, helping friends and family, research and reading, supporting people at the abortion clinic or sexual health clinic, and essentially becoming informed and armed with the emotional tools you need to do this work.
Original blog post was written by Andi Johnson over at The Offbeat Doula