D.I.Y Fine Arts, Queer.Brown.Muxerismo, Justicia Reproductiva, Radical Health and rambles

But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.

We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.

themidwifeisin:

Some information for becoming pregnant after using testosterone (T) for transitioning.

thought this would be of use for some folx! although i must say that some of the wording for body parts and bits could be less gendered…

Interview with QWOC Midwife: Emi Yamasaki McLaughlin

I was very lucky to meet Emi at the QTPOC Birthwork Project Training in Seattle, Emi was one of the organizers and also facilitators. I keep meeting more and more QTPOC folx studying birthwork and midwifery which makes me extremely exited! This interview was done with all of us in mind, hope yall enjoy it. 

-Tell us a tiny bit about yourself 

I am a licensed midwife and small business owner in Seattle, WA. You can learn more about my practice athomebirthinseattle.com. There are about six licensed midwives of color out of 120+ total licensed midwives in the state of Washington. So we are vastly underrepresented. My dream is to grow a community of midwives of color and birthworkers that practice social justice and accessible care. 

-How did you become interested on birthwork? What was it that made you follow your path as a midwife?

I was raised by a strong, liberal feminist who was a single mom my whole life, M. Patricia McLaughlin. She gave birth to me and my two siblings at home, assisted by midwives, so I knew that midwives still existed and people could have their babies at home. When I was in my early 20’s, my sister Tae asked me to be her doula (labor support person) and told me to read a few books to prepare. One of those books was by a home birth midwife. I was struck by how simply you could support someone to have a natural birth. Encourage them to eat, drink and move around in labor. Make the laboring person feel safe. At that time, I was majoring in Women’s Studies in college, so the idea of returning power to the birthing person strongly resonated with me.

-What is the scope of a midwife? What are your thoughts on full-spectrum midwifery?

This question is somewhat loaded because of the hirstory of midwifery in the U.S. In the early part of the 20th century, we saw state-level maternal-child health initiatives persecuting midwives, many of whom were women of color or recent immigrants serving families that couldn’t afford physician care. The profession of the nurse-midwife was introduced by state agencies, nurses and physicians attempting to control midwives. This led to the U.S. having several types of midwives today. Regulations and licensure vary by state. If you want to go the licensed/regulated route, there are certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), certified midwives (CMs) and direct-entry midwives (their state-recognized credential varies by state: Licensed Midwife, Direct-Entry Midwife, Certified Direct Entry Midwife to name just a few). Direct-entry midwives may also get a national certification called the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), which may be helpful if they are pursuing state licensure. To learn more about legal status for each U.S. state, take a look at the Midwives’ Alliance of North America website (http://mana.org/about-midwives/state-by-state). To learn more about DEM schools, check out the Midwives’ Education Accreditation Council (meacschools.org). Certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives typically have Master’s degrees in nursing, work in the hospital setting, have prescriptive authority and may require supervision by a physician (depending on their local laws). If you are interested in this route, the American College of Nurse-Midwives website (http://www.midwife.org/) is a great place to start. Their practice may be restricted by hospital policy. Midwives who don’t seek licensure or certification are often called traditional midwives (they may also called lay midwives, which is not usually preferred as it suggests they don’t have training). They may get their training through a midwifery school (such as a MEAC school) or be trained through the age-old model of apprenticeship. 

CNM’s have a larger scope of practice which typically includes well-woman care for the entire life cycle. Their training and education typically emphasizes the Western medical model. CNM’s may choose to get continuing education in areas such as abortion care, insemination, hormone management for trans* care, cultural competency to provide well-person care (more inclusive for trans*/gender non-conforming individuals), etc. The training and education for direct-entry midwives and traditional midwives prepares them to care for low-risk, healthy people who are planning to birth at home or in a freestanding birth center without pharmacological (drugs) pain relief. Direct-entry midwives, and especially traditional midwives, are more likely than CNMs to incorporate herbal therapies into their care. In some states, direct-entry midwives are able to bill insurance and even Medicaid, which makes care more accessible in my opinion. However, being licensed does restrict their practice. They are often restricted by law to only caring for people during the child-bearing cycle, so in some states, they can’t do Paps on anyone who isn’t pregnant or provide contraception counseling to someone who isn’t pregnant or just had a baby. These are unnecessary restrictions that create barriers to care. Direct-entry midwives and traditional midwives typically work in small practices with just 1 or 2 providers and do much longer visits with their clients (e.g. 30 minutes to 2 hours). This model gives their clients continuity of care and allows midwives to build trusting relationships with clients who may otherwise be low users of medical services. Reluctance to use medical services stems from historical and current trauma and abuse many of our communities of color, LGBTQ communities and poor folks have experienced at the hands of the medical system. Expanding scope of practice to include well-person care, contraception prescriptive authority, abortion care, insemination and fertility would greatly improve access to people of color, LGBTQ communities and poor folks. Traditional midwives can provide any type of care they wish but cannot carry regulated drugs or medical devices legally and are at risk of prosecution for practicing midwifery or even medicine without a license depending on their local laws. 

-What recommendations or tips do you have for QTPOC folx wanting to become birthworkers and midwives?

Connect with local birthworkers of color or queer birthworkers by getting involved in the community. Birthworkers love to talk about what they do, so go to meetings and open houses or create your own group if one doesn’t already exist. Find Facebook groups or venues where folks gather on social media. Take advantage of volunteer opportunities to show your face and demonstrate your commitment. Keep in mind that if you want to connect with paid, professional birthworkers, they are probably a small business owner and their time is very valuable. Try to connect at conferences or other public venues before you ask for a one on one meeting. Expect cold-calls and emails to be ignored (better yet, don’t even bother - unless you know you are the only other QTPOC birthworker in your city). Networking and finding a mutual friend or colleague who can make an introduction to the person you want to speak with is your best bet. Build up your knowledge base and skills on your own by reading books, blogs, Facebook groups, etc. so that when you make that connection with an established birthworker, you already have some knowledge. Conferences for midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and breastfeeding advocates have really great technical information and tricks of the trade, but be prepared that the people at these events are usually middle- and upper-class cis-gendered white women that have little to no analysis around race, class, trans* identity, etc. Unfortunately for QTPOCs, we will all be forging new roads, which is why the Q/TPOC Birthwerq Project was born. So keep an eye on our website for future events.

Similar articles by the same author:

Abortion Resources Support & Full Spectrum Abortion Companionship/Doulaing

FIRST EVER Q/T*POC BIRTHWORK PROJECT TRAINING: DEBRIEF AND A SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH RAFAEL/A LUNA PIZANO

-by La Loba Loca. Gay.Queer Peruvian Muxer, Coxinera, tumblerista, body-powered tattooist, D.I.Y. fine artist, documentarista, Justicia Reproductiva advocate, Full Spectrum Birthworker and over all interested on autonomous health. If you are looking for birth and full spectrum companionship/doula in central Los Angeles, CA contact me and also check out my earth-loving goodies, reusable pads and chest/breast pads, atlalobaloca.bigcartel.com!

sicosa:

~La Pareja~
I just wanted to see some queer latinx art sooo. This was fun to do because of the lighting and it was not fun to do because of the lighting.Denim is tough. Branches are tough, leaves are tough. Flesh is fun and flexible. I wanted expressive strokes! I think I delivered kinda. As with every piece I learned a thing or two.
Hope someone out there enjoys!

sicosa:

~La Pareja~

I just wanted to see some queer latinx art sooo. This was fun to do because of the lighting and it was not fun to do because of the lighting.Denim is tough. Branches are tough, leaves are tough. Flesh is fun and flexible. I wanted expressive strokes! I think I delivered kinda. As with every piece I learned a thing or two.

Hope someone out there enjoys!

(via fuckyeahxicanapower)

Hoy nos ponemos de luto para honrar la vida y obra de Victoria Eugenia Santa Cruz, artista, cantante, coreografa, compositora, luchadora AfroPeruana que lleno de arte, conciencia y cultura a la escena artistica del Peru y Latinoamerica. Toda una sin vergüenza que salió adelante a pesar del racismo anti-negritud y patriarcado. Fuerza Negra!

…las flores de mi jardin son mis enfermeras…

Making tulsi infused oil for tummy massage and head/face massage. I got introduced to tulsi by an internet-friend that exchanged seeds with me. Tulsi, or holly basil, grows beautiful in LA. this medicine is indigenous to what is now considered India and the medicine I am making is specifically to aid digestion, wake up/freshen up the intestines and aid with face relaxation. We hold so much in our mandibular area & tummy area- both of those body sections are so deeply interconnected! I am also drying the Huacatay that I have growing, seeds come from my grandma’s house all the way in South America. Huacatay is full of medicine and is indigenous to the place I am from…. I need to write a whole post on that one.
'las flores de mi jardin son mis enfermeras'- Violeta Parra

-La Loba Loca

Gay.Queer Peruvian Muxer, Coxinera, tumblerista, body-powered tattooist, D.I.Y. fine artist, documentarista, Justicia Reproductiva advocate, Full Spectrum Birthworker and over all interested on autonomous health. If you are looking for birth and full spectrum companionship/doula in central Los Angeles, CA contact me and also check out my earth-loving goodies, reusable pads and chest/breast pads, at lalobaloca.bigcartel.com!

thinking about puppies in customs or massaging puppies or puppies cuddling with other animals makes me feel soo soo warm inside!

ABORTION RESOURCES, SUPPORT & FULL SPECTRUM, ABORTION COMPANIONSHIP/DOULAING

This list has been created hoping to inspired more people to get involved with Full Spectrum and Abortion Companionship/Doula care and support and it has also been created in hopes that it gets shared and reaches those folx that might directly benefit from the information. In the future, I hope to create a similar resource list for people going through unexpected birth outcomes (miscarriage, still-birth, neonatal death, etc) and also around birth and post-partum care and support. I do want to acknowledge that some of the resources in this list continue to present abortion as a ‘women’ only issue and sometimes as a ‘hetero’ only issue. Many of us QT*POC Birthworkers and allies are creating and (re)imagining abortion companionship, care and support to ensure that our T*LGBQI are centered in this conversations.  

Organizations that offer counseling and/or practical support

ACCESS Women’s Health Justice (based in Bay Area)
www.accesswhj.org

Backline (they provide support for people adopting, having an abortion and parenting)
www.yourbackline.org

The National Network of Abortion Funds
www.fundabortionnow.org

Grassroots Collectives, Groups and Organizations that offer resources and Abortion Companionship/Support

Some of the following Full Spectrum and Abortion Support groups might be inactive or taking a break, send them an email and see what they are up to. If you would like to start a group in your city, YOU CAN DO IT!  Also, there might be more collectives out there doing the work. If you would like to add your collective in the list or if you know of other groups doing this work email me to contact@lalobaloca.com to add them.

Full-Spectrum Reproductive Support Network (many of the active Full Spectrum and Abortion Companionship/Doula collectives are part of this network)
www.reproductivesupport.org

California, Bay Area: The Bay Area Doula Project  (they offer Abortion companionships/doula trainings, get at them if you want to start your collective!)

http://bayareadoulaproject.org/

California, Los Angeles: Autonomous Communities for Reproductive and Abortion Support (ACRAS)

https://www.facebook.com/acrascollective

Connecticut, Wesleyan University: The Wesleyan Doula Project

http://wesleying.org/2013/10/23/wesleyan-doula-project-fall-training-info-session/

Illinois, Chicago: The Chicago Doula Circle

http://chicagodoulacircle.org/main/

Massachusetts, Boston: The Boston Doula Project

https://www.facebook.com/BostonDoulaProject/info

Minnesota, The Spiral Collective

http://spiralcollective.weebly.com/meetingstrainings.html

New York, New York: The Doula Project

http://www.doulaproject.org/

North Carolina, Asheville Open Umbrella Collective

http://openumbrellacollective.org/

North Carolina, Piedmont Triad Spectrum Doula Collective

https://www.facebook.com/spectrumdoulas

Portland, Oregon Calyx Doulas

http://calyxdoulas.org/

Texas Abortion Access (Español e Ingles)

http://www.texasabortionaccess.info/

Texas, The Cicada Collective (they offer Abortion companionships/doula trainings, get at them if you want to start your collective!)

http://cicadacollective.wordpress.com/

Texas, Austin Tre Bridge Collective

http://www.thebridgecollective.org/

Washington, Seattle. Full Spectrum Doulas

http://www.fullspectrumdoulas.org/

Washington, DC, Doulas for Choice Collective

http://dcdoulasforchoice.wordpress.com/

Useful Links

How to star your own full spectrum and/or abortion companionship/doula collective in your area

4 ways to be gender inclusive when discussing abortion (article)

Not Everyone that as an Abortion is a Women (article)

Abortion Diary Podcast: documentation of abortion stories project

A Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Resolution After an Abortion

Pregnancy Options Workbook

El cuaderno de ejercicios de opciones para ti

Abortion: which method is right for me?

PDFs and workbooks on abortion and post-abortion care in Spanish and english

Herbal Abortion Zine PDF

Mom, Dad, I’m Pregnant

What Really Takes to get an Abortion

Can I be a doula if I am physically disabled? 

Fertility Awareness Center Links and Resources

A listing of zines on natural fertility awareness, self-knowledge and herbs. You can find some of those zines in PDFs in the internet

 This is a list that will constantly be expanding and changing, I can think of more PDFs to add, and more links to add but I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. However, I encourage you to send me resources that you have found helpful so I can put them up here, my email is contact@lalobaloca.com. 

-La Loba Loca

Gay.Queer Peruvian Muxer, Coxinera, tumblerista, body-powered tattooist, D.I.Y. fine artist, documentarista, Justicia Reproductiva advocate, Full Spectrum Birthworker and over all interested on autonomous health. If you are looking for birth and full spectrum companionship/doula in central Los Angeles, CA contact me and also check out my earth-loving goodies, reusable pads and chest/breast pads, atlalobaloca.bigcartel.com!

lipstick mesh

lipstick mesh

FIRST EVER Q/T*POC BIRTHWORK PROJECT TRAINING: DEBRIEF AND A SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH RAFAEL/A LUNA PIZANO
Oooof, que fuerte! It has taken me literally three weeks to be able to sit down and write about this experience. The first ever QTPOC Birthwork Training was in Seattle this past July, it was a beautiful gathering of souls, it was life affirming, it was fun, it was like being 18-years old again! Lately I have been dealing with the fact that I am growing up, that I am pretty much in my mid-twenties and that it is kind of depressing to ‘grow up’- this gathering was a lot of things but sobre todo refreshing. It made me feel exited once again. I am still trying to figure out teleporting so i can keep building with the people I met in the training.
We had an amazing array of presenters; mothers, students midwife, post-partum companion/doulas, midwives, body workers and straight up bad asses. The folx that got together came from all over the US, from different cultures and backgrounds- knowledge in the room was so RICH. I even got to taste a little bit of a dried placenta and meet two little people being brought up in Queer families! The only way I could describe the whole experience, besides saying that I felt 18-years old again, would be to compare it to the first time I touched a placenta- it was warm and rich with life. 
Here is a sneak peak on what the training covered: language check, de-medicalizing body parts, hirstory of midwives of color, navigating ‘doula’ or companion work as QTPOCs, rebozo skill-share, unexpected birth outcomes, belly binding, post-partum support and healing, chest/breast feeding, break-out sessions on adoption, queer family making, insemination, abortion, Trans* birthwork and much much more!
I am beyond exited to see what comes out of this training, some of us talked about future gatherings in the South next to rivers while skinny dipping and eating fried food. Some of us are dreaming to see this happen in other places and to get more QT*POC folx involved in Full-Spectrum Birthwork. This post es un granito de arena, hoping to inspires more folx to get involve in this work and also to start believing that we can have families too and that we DESERVE to make and create families too. I cannot wait to bring a little baby into this world in a room full of bad ass colorful sea horse and fairy birthworkers throwing glitter around! This training has definitely given me the necessary push to start diving more into birthwork, so if you are in central LA area and looking for a birthworker feel free to contact me through my page! 
Here is an interview with Rafael/a Luna Pizano, one of the brains behind the QTPOC Birthwork Project and also one of the many facilitators of this beautiful soul gathering.
Who is Rafael/a Luna Pizano?
I’m a descendant of Pilipin@, Mexica and mestiz@ blood, walking the red road as a two-spirit/ed child.  I am a bodyworker by trade, artist by night, and dreamer by day. I am passionate about reproductive justice for all genders and bodies, especially for transpeople (i.e. transwomxn, transmxn and gender-fluid folks) and people of color. I really love food, playing capoeira, finding unnatural lipstick colors, dipping my head in the ocean and complaining about how much my cat likes to cuddle.
What does Trans* and Queer BIrthwork mean to you and why do you think it is important to train QTPOC folx as birthworkers?
Trans and Queer birthwork…means that ALL kinds of bodies and genders have great access to reproductive support including full-spectrum pregnancy care. This also means that the folks offering this support to trans and queer folks are of trans and queer communities or have been asked by people from these communities to support them in solidarity.  I feel it’s important to train q/tpoc to become birthworkers because we (q/tpoc) also need reproductive care that’s respectful, culturally-competent and appropriate to our needs.  Who better to support us than folks from our own community?  We need the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to at least provide basic support for each other through all aspects of reproductive health, pregnancy and fertility practices.  I want us to know how to engage with our medical providers (esp if they aren’t q/tpoc) about our reproductive health, armed with more education about our bodies and cycles.  This knowledge of our bodies’ reproductive needs and health is imperative to our survival especially as transpeople because so many medical providers are still ignorant to our existence, let alone our specific healthcare needs.  There is still very little research or data gathering on what is ‘normal’ for transbodies regarding our reproductive cycles and how gender-affirming hormones or surgeries impact this aspect of our lives for the long-term.  By creating more access to reproductive education, I hope that more q/tpoc will not only be able to provide reproductive care for each other, but also begin recording our stories and experiences as part of a collective memory that can teach us about what is common to our experiences as transpeople navigating pregnancy or reproductive shifts.  
   
How can other QTPOC folx get involved in birthwork? How do they get started?
More q/tpoc can get involved with birthwork by self-educating and reading, connecting with others online (including us at the QTPOC Birthwork Project), listening to their elders and asking questions more specifically related to pregnancy/childbirth (folks might have to ask the questions several times before anyone feels like answering lol), and definitely doing the self-healing work that often comes up when we enter the realm of birthwork on any level.  Taking trainings for doulas/labor companions, connecting with local doula groups or asking birthworkers in the field about entry points to birthwork are a few ways to get started. Unfortunately, most trainings, birthwork networks and providers are of white/cis/hetero/upper-class communities and often do not have the resources or foundations to even begin understanding what an aspiring q/tpoc birthworker may bring into a space.  Q/tpocs will probably wage through the usual mix of righteous rage, trauma, sadness and lack of motivation that occurs when met with the well-intentioned white ladies that often run birth practices in the U.S. (especially up here in the NW).  I suggest that q/tpocs try their best to find poc birthworkers to start and interview them, talk story, get book recommendations, etc. as they begin to travel along a path that has been lonely for q/tpoc and two-spirit/ed folks since ‘colonization.’
    
What do you envision for QTPOC Birthwork Project? Are there plans of future trainings?
I envision that the Q/TPOC Birthwerq Project will continue to create other workshops, probably smaller in size/duration and topics covered, to focus more on specific aspects of pregnancy, fertility and sexual health as it relates to transpeople and queer folks of color.  I also see gatherings that are more for trans and queer community-members interested in healing around reproductive health, where people can come together and share their fertility and pregnancy experiences/questions/dreams in a safer space and with people that can answer questions or offer resources.  I see these kinds of gatherings especially for transpeople, because I feel that trans folks need some other steps around self-healing before we think about supporting cis-people during pregnancy (i.e. labor companion work) because that is still the majority of who is pregnant.  I hope that we can continue to connect with trans community and meet transwomxn that are interested in birthwork. Because transwomxn are womxn, I want to see my sisters taking up their right to womxn’s legacies of traditional birth practices and support a gathering where other womxn (trans, cis, etc) of color can share basic fertility and pregnancy practices with each other.  I also see a gathering for existing q/tpoc birthworkers to come together and share healing time, feed each other, and nourish our drive for this work because it’s fuckin’ exhausting to be us and struggling for equal reproductive access.  I dream of a men’s pregnancy gathering where all kinds (trans, cis, etc.) of men of color can come together and learn more about the basics of pregnancy, reproductive resources and get comfortable talking about it because men are often part of the birthing equation, but don’t often know how to show up in a helpful way.  I have many more dreams, but I’m more interested in hearing what people from our first workshop are dreaming of now that they’ve had a taste of what birthwork can offer.  I hope that participants from our first workshop will want to create gatherings in their local communities that encourage conversation, skill-sharing and connection necessary to continue the reproductive justice work of our elders in a new way.
Q/TPOC Birthwerq Project email: qtpoc.birth.work@gmail.com
-by La Loba Loca. Gay.Queer Peruvian Muxer, Coxinera, tumblerista, body-powered tattooist, D.I.Y. fine artist, documentarista, Justicia Reproductiva advocate, Full Spectrum Birthworker and over all interested on autonomous health. If you are looking for birth and full spectrum companionship/doula in central Los Angeles, CA contact me and also check out my earth-loving goodies, reusable pads and chest/breast pads, atlalobaloca.bigcartel.com!