Greetings, lovely souls! Today, I’m excited to explore a subject that is the foundation of the work we do here at Big Fat Pregnancy: Size inclusive doula work!  We want the world to know the positive impact hiring a size inclusive doula who genuinely comprehends and uplifts your one-of-a-kind journey can be! 

If you identify as fat or plus-size, struggle with self-image, and, or have a current or past eating disorder, you know that this journey can be both thrilling and daunting. That’s why having a doula who is not only skilled but also deeply compassionate and fat-positive can make all the difference in the world. You’re on board with this concept? Great! 

Once you find doulas you’d like to interview, you may be curious how to really know if they are going to support you in the body you have now. So, let’s talk about 5 essential questions to ask when interviewing a doula, ensuring that you find a size inclusive doula to support you on this extraordinary journey to parenthood.

Postpartum Essentials - a line art drawing of a baby being cradled with a parent's hand on their head with a very light pink background with peach water color circles and gold glitter accents

1. Can you share your experience and training in size inclusivity?

When you sit down for that initial doula interview, start with the basics. Ask your potential doula about their experience and training in size inclusivity.

You want someone who doesn’t just pay lip service to the idea but truly understands the nuances of supporting individuals of all sizes through pregnancy and birth.

Look for someone who has invested time and effort in learning about the unique challenges and joys that fat individuals may encounter during this time.

Their commitment to ongoing education in this realm can speak volumes about their dedication to being a true advocate for you.

2. How do you create an inclusive and welcoming environment?

Creating a safe and welcoming space is at the heart of every doula’s mission. But when it comes to being size inclusive, it’s essential to ensure that your doula not only says the words but also lives by them.

Ask them how they plan to create an environment where you feel valued, respected, and understood, regardless of your size.

Do they have tangible strategies in place to accommodate your needs, whether it’s comfortable seating or adjusting their communication style?

Their thoughtful response will give you insights into their commitment to making your journey a positive one.

3. Can you share a story about supporting a fat individual during pregnancy?

Stories are incredibly powerful tools that help us understand someone’s experiences and perspectives.

By asking your potential doula to share a story about supporting a fat individual during pregnancy, you’re inviting them to showcase their empathy and insights.

How did they advocate for their client’s needs? How did they address any potential challenges that arose? Their storytelling can reveal a lot about their approach and their willingness to truly understand and advocate for you.

4. How do you handle bias or judgment from medical professionals?

One of the toughest aspects of being fat and pregnant can be navigating potential bias or judgment from medical professionals.

A size inclusive doula should be prepared to stand beside you as an advocate, helping you navigate these situations with grace and confidence.

Ask your doula how they plan to support you in such scenarios. Do they have experience in advocating for their clients in the face of discrimination? Their answer will give you a glimpse into their commitment to ensuring your emotional well-being throughout the journey.

5. What resources or networks do you have for size inclusive pregnancy?

A well-connected doula can open doors to a wealth of resources and networks that can enhance your pregnancy experience. Inquire about any resources or networks your potential doula has for size inclusive pregnancy.

Do they collaborate with other professionals who specialize in plus-size pregnancy, such as size inclusive fitness trainers or nutritionists? Their network can be a treasure trove of support that ensures you have access to comprehensive care.

Postpartum Essentials - a line art drawing of a mother and father cradling each other and a newborn on the father's shoulder with a beige background with green water color circle and gold glitter accents

Finding a size inclusive doula who will hold space for you, advocate for your needs, and educate you about the unique aspects of being fat and pregnant is nothing short of a blessing.

Remember, this is your journey, and you deserve to have a doula who not only walks beside you but also uplifts you every step of the way.

These 5 questions are a place to start. To get more questions, tips and tricks, check out more questions, tips & tricks to finding size inclusive care through our resource: All Bodies Welcome: A Guide to Finding a Size Inclusive Provider.

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