Meet DTI Educator, Danie
Danie has been working as a doula for 16 years, specializes in LGBTQ+ families and pregnancies, and is based in Los Angeles. We asked Danie to share their perspective on being a birth worker and part of the DTI team. Here's what they had to say:
How long have you been a doula?
I have been a doula since 2016.
How long have you been an educator?
I have been an educator for about 8 months now.
Do you have any specialties?
LGBTQ+ families and pregnancies
Why did you choose to pursue birth education?
Because I wanted to impact the generations of birth workers & birthing people in a way that was lasting & powerful. Creating inclusive, knowledgeable doulas means we're creating a positive ripple effect
What was your most powerful birthing experience as a doula?
Very early in my career I ended up helping a couple catch their baby in an unassisted hospital birth. Literally my second or third birth! The hospital staff wrote me off as not knowing what I was doing/talking about because I looked a lot younger than I was. I kept telling them we needed someone and they just kind of wrote me off. It was powerful for me because it taught me that I knew what I was doing, that I was capable of doing this work, and it showed me what I could potentially be up against in this line of work. Plus it was really funny to watch the dad kind of panic but then have it end sweetly as he caught his own baby.
What’s one thing you wish you knew sooner in your doula career?
I may be weird in this but I feel like the things I was taught very early on were exactly what I needed to know. My instructor was very thorough and direct. Which is something I try to be and appreciate that approach a lot.
How has becoming a Doula changed your life?
I mean, I have a lot more flexibility and control over my life and career than with anything else I've ever done. This work is Ancestral to me, so it's really just fallen into alignment for me. It's also strange because I was one of the few very loudly "out" non-binary doulas when I began and seeing the wide array of trans and non-binary doulas who are out and accessible to LGBTQ+ families and folks is truly delightful. I occasionally get messages from people telling me how me being out/public with my identity has helped them. That feels pretty incredible and life changing to me
Where do you think the Doula world needs to grow/change/evolve? How do you hope to see it change in the future?
We have come a good way but there is still such a long road ahead of us. There is still a lot of racism/ableism/white supremacy/micro & macro aggressions in the doula world. One thing I've never been about anything I feel passionately about is quiet. It is our job, as birth workers whose existence & identities intersect at points of cultural privilege and power, to do the work to unlearn and un-do harms done by systemic power and oppression. We can't get precious or take it personally. It's the system. If you're feeling attacked, you need to sit down and sort out how and why that is connected. Then do the damn work.
What’s your favorite thing to teach?
Abortion stuff! I want people to feel comfortable with their knowledge and experiences. Abortion isn't a dirty word. It isn't something to be ashamed of!