what do these words mean?

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OtherAngel
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what do these words mean?

Unread post by OtherAngel »

What does full spectrum doula mean? I had a friend who posted it on facebook but minutes later it was taken down. She also posted the pronouns they/them but changed it back to her.
Marisha
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Re: what do these words mean?

Unread post by Marisha »

Hi Other Angel! Great questions!

So first, a doula is essentially a pregnancy/parenthood assistant. You might hear them mentioned in the same spaces as midwives, who are licensed to actually handle the medical parts of birth-giving. A doula handles physical, mental, and emotional support for people who are expecting. A midwife is called upon when it's time to deliver the baby, but a doula can assist the parent(s) at multiple stages, including when people are seeking an abortion, have had/are experiencing a miscarriage, are considering adoption, or are post-partum (post-birth). A full spectrum doula performs multiple or all of these roles!

Second, on pronouns: generally speaking, a person who goes by they/them pronouns may be expressing gender variance of some kind. Some people go by just they/them, while others use multiple (she & they, for example). You would have to ask your friend how she feels, but this might indicate that she's going through a gender journey and is considering using different pronouns in public. Our founder Heather has a post about using they/them pronouns here: For the love of they, them and we who use them.

I also found this article that might help you understand why someone would change their pronouns: Use Your Words: The Language We Use to Describe Ourselves Matters
OtherAngel
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2021 4:33 pm
Age: 15
Awesomeness Quotient: I enjoy me
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: Her
Location: Texas

Re: what do these words mean?

Unread post by OtherAngel »

thanks Marisha for all of that knowledge. She is a family friend and an RN but she changed RN to the doula thing but ended up changing it back. RN sounds more correct and doula was confusing, and I thought it was some sexual term or something, lol!
And if she is going through a gender journey then I guess she is shy about it? I'm afraid to ask her.
But she is a good friend, and maybe i'll ask her about it one day.
Elise
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Re: what do these words mean?

Unread post by Elise »

Hi there OtherAngel, midwives can also be qualified RNs (as may someone is both doula and a midwife). I can't say for sure, but it could be that your friend does this kind of work and that is her preferred professional focus, but may have changed it back on socials if she is worried about the stigma that midwives and doulas sometimes receive from other members of medical profession and the public due to misinformation and other factors.

For someone going through a gender journey, particularly if they are worried about how people will receive them, the most important thing you can do for now is to be outwardly supportive of people who are outside of the gender binary (and demonstrate that you understand that gender is not a binary), rather than push for an answer, particularly if your friend is working things out privately. This can be a period with a lot of self reflection; even folks who might be confident in their coming out later may need time to really reflect on their identity themselves and it is important not to push people to come out before they're ready. There is a chance that your friend doesn't settle on they/them pronouns or the change was or another reason, however learning how to be an active ally is a worthwhile pursuit in any case!

This support can look like correcting any discriminatory language if you hear it, and educating yourself more about the gender spectrum. Here are some articles to get you started:
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