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#68 Changes in Birth over 25 Years: Consent, Racism & Doulas with Ananda Lowe

On today’s show we will be discussing how birth has changed over the last 25 years.

Our guest today is Ananda Lowe, a long-time birth doula in Massachusetts who will share what she has seen and heard. Ananda has been part of the Boston/New England and even national birth scene for a long time--since 1995. She is co-author of The Doula Guide to Birth: Secrets Every Pregnant Woman Should Know, she’s a Lamaze-trained childbirth educator, as well as a Certified Lactation Counselor, and former Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in pregnancy. After many years of supporting families, she became a new mother in 2010.

During this episode, we discuss the following:

how Ananda came to become a birth doula
the history of informed consent and informed refusal in birth and a better way for care providers to offer informed consent and informed refusal
having her first baby at the age of 40
being vulnerable and the concept of coercion during birth
taking ownership of anger about one’s birth experience
how for decades we have known there are health disparities and that racism is responsible
the importance of listening to and reading birth stories
the rise of inductions and Cesarean births over the last 25 years and why this isn’t a good thing
how “intervention begets intervention” and our obsession with technology
COVID restrictions and why having even a virtual doula is helpful