In Episode 9 Sheridon Byrne and I chat about bias, the hetero lens with which birth tends to be viewed, and how to work with LGBTQIA+ families.

Listen to Episode 9 HERE

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Have you watched that documentary from Brene Brown on Netflix yet? So many take always but a huge one for me was this – to not have conversations just because they make you feel uncomfortable is the definition of privilege. In the majority of birth culture we talk about birth through a hetero lens. As a white, heterosexual woman who has birthed at a hospital I’ve never had to stop and think about whether or not I look like the people in the brochure. I’ve never had to worry about whether someone will make inaccurate assumptions about my identity, my sexuality or make assumptions about my partner.

We all have biases. One of mine has been the familiar story of “well I’m super accepting of LGBTQIA+ clients, so that’s enough”.

I’m inviting you today to be courageous and admit that there’s a whole lot you don’t know about what you don’t know. I want you to embrace feeling uncomfortable, because (a) we must have uncomfortable conversations in order to see real social change, and (b) unless you are fighting for your birth rights within the LGBTQIA+ arena, your comfort is not really the centre of these conversations.

Feeling uncomfortable is how we do the work of trauma. If you sit with your discomfort it can take you to such an amazing place of growth, insight and strength.

Sheridon is a Melbourne Doula who also works in the community sector delivering juicy trainings. She sings, she plays the drums, she loves high fashion and I am SO glad we met!

Some of the topics we cover in today’s episode:

  • Learning about diversity is a win/win. It’s joyful and reminds us of our core values about equality, love and humanity.
  • We need more than just whacking up a rainbow sticker. How does it feel when you navigate the world not knowing if you are welcome or not
  • How to bring an intersectional lens to your work remembering that LGBTQIA+ families are still grappling with erasure, pathologizing and loads of intergenerational trauma
  • Joy is a killer of fear. Removing fear in birth is a win/win
  • Language is a moveable feast – It’s not about being ‘right’. It’s about being open, reflective and allowing the birthing person and their family to guide us in what they need.
  • You can be an expert in your field but you’re not an expert on your client’s experience. It’s not yours to be an expert in.
  • To think about lifelong learning versus being “done” with training
  • How to work with burnout



Checking in with what you don’t know you don’t know about LGBTQIA+

Gender bread person

Vikki Reynolds self-care and how not to burn out in justice doing work

How to work with burnout and oppression

Sheridon with her nose in a book 😉