Discovery Time: Revealing the Doula’s Sexual Self   

with Vera Levitt Casey

Empowering others begins with understanding yourself. So this workshop is designed to be all about YOU, doulas. By grounding you in your own sexual energy, the tools you’ll gain will help you guide others to embrace and value their sexual energy.

Together, we’ll get your sexual vibrations flowing. How exactly are we going to do that? Well, the setting certainly sets the mood! But to get specific: We’ll be exploring the beautiful complexity of arousal, the stimulating power of vocalization and the powerful connection between your body and your mind.

We can’t say it enough: There is NO shame in embracing your sexuality through pregnancy, birth and parenthood. There’s a lot of airbrushed, sugarcoated sex being pushed out in pop culture, yet there’s still so much stigma surrounding real, raw sexuality.

Where are your pleasure points?
What makes you tick, in the best way possible?

What feels good, truly?

This workshop’s purpose is to shatter that stigma in your own mind so you can fully bask in the magic of your sexual self.

Sex Talk: Bridging the Gap In Client Conversations

with Vera Levitt Casey

We can’t shatter the stigma surrounding sex and birth unless we open up and talk about it.

Each period of the childbearing year and beyond has its own sexual challenges, as well as its own opportunities. So why, when and how should we as doulas be talking to clients about sex?

As a doula, you’re a trusted confidante of a person going through an extraordinary phase of their life that overlaps two of life’s most intimate aspects, sex and birth.

It’s tricky territory. No one wants to overstep boundaries and make anyone uncomfortable.

If this all sounds like an overwhelming amount of responsibility, don’t fret. You don’t have to navigate the conversation on your own. That’s why we’re hosting this workshop!

How exactly is this going to go down, you may be wondering? We’ll lay the foundation through the simple acknowledgement that sex is a thing. A glorious thing. Aka, we’ll all get real comfortable talking about it.

Then, we’ll learn about the physiologic and psychologic similarities between birth and sex (no surprise, there are many!) and we’ll practice, practice, practice the doula-client conversations you can expect so that you become a trusted resource on the subject.

We’ll help you get to the point where your clients feel safe and empowered to talk to you about challenges they may be having and questions on their mind they’re too nervous to ask.

It’s time we get personal to smash the stigma, together.

Embodying & Enjoying Pelvic Floor Yoga

with Britt Fohrman

May your pelvic floor be strong and mighty, for it is the foundation of all good things.

No, but really. It is.

Think of your pelvic floor, which supports your bladder, bowel and uterus, as a trampoline. Its muscles are flexible, but they can be weighed down and weakened during pregnancy. Like with any muscle, understanding how to identify and flex the muscles of your pelvic floor is so important to maintaining strength.

And the rewards? Tuning into your pelvic floor is the key to better orgasms, a smoother birth, and a quicker post-partum recovery in that region of your body. Like we said, all good things!

In this workshop, we’ll combine gentle and restorative yoga poses with yogic breathing and simple meditation techniques to help you develop a conscious connection to your pelvic floor muscles. As with the other workshops we have prepared for this retreat, the practice will aid you in your personal life while adding value to your doula practice with your clients. The pleasurable possibilities found in the power of birth are endless, and we’re more than happy to share the secret to discovering them.

Prepare to say a soft goodbye to trauma, tension, discomfort and dysfunction and a warm hello to circulation, relaxation, strength and pleasure.

Sex and Birth Politics

with Becky Alford

Yes, the oppressive arms of patriarchy make their way into the most sacred places. This we know. And once you know, it’s impossible to unsee (but we’d never wish to revert to blissful ignorance).

Rituals and routines common in modern childbirth are rooted in sexism and objectification. The will of the birthing person is often laid aside under the justification that someone else knows best. That autonomy is not something we’re willing to sacrifice; it’s the root of doula work,

The politics of the body, sex and birth inevitably overlap. This is an acknowledgement we must make to affect change in birth culture. But to decolonize birth work is going to take more than a simple acknowledgement.

We must ask the difficult questions, and we must explore them deeply.

How does deeply ingrained injustice play out in the birth room and in the early postpartum period when transitioning to a parent begins?

As doulas, what language and practices do we witness time and time again that negate our client’s bodily autonomy?

How can we as birth professionals begin to chip away at the inherent patriarchy present in the language used around these topics without resorting to cultural appropriation and gender essentialism?

Luckily, we have an abundance of knowledge and experience from intersectional and queer feminism to guide us.

Let’s get to work.

Vera Levitt Casey

Vera Levitt Casey is a clinical sexologist and birth doula who has been serving the mothers of San Diego for the last decade as an active leader and educator in her community. She has a heart for mothers, combining her personal passion for motherhood with her professional drive to create safe, healthy, and rewarding sexual expression. Vera has created a practice that specializes in serving post-partum women and couples in re-awakening their sexuality.  She assists clients in asserting their unique voice around sex and pleasure, while incorporating pragmatic, need-to-know techniques that harness arousal in both body and mind. She has served her community as a La Leche League leader; a co-founder of the mother-to-mother support and education group, Babywearing San Diego, with current membership in the thousands; and a volunteer Hearts and Hands birth doula (UCSD and DONA trained). She has presented for American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors, and Therapists conference, Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, and media.  She lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and 3 children.

Becky Alford

Becky Alford is a DTI doula, doula educator, and certified lactation counselor. She has worked in the birth world for over 17 years and her professional passions center on social justice and inclusivity in the birth world and in promoting compassionate cesareans as an option for people who need to have a surgical birth. She is an advocate for birth workers’ and birthing people’s autonomy above all else. She is a frequent contributor to the DTI blog; Around the Transparent Campfire and Homebirth Plan C in particular have received significant attention in our field.  She is the owner of Downtown Doula NYC and lives in Chelsea with her partner and her three children, whose births humbled her to her core and made her vow to work harder honoring all births and all birthing people. 

Britt Fohrman

Britt Fohrman, a yoga teacher, photographer, body worker, and doula in the San Francisco Bay Area, will be getting you comfortable and connected with your pelvic floor. Britt will share a range of hands-on tools for creating a more nourishing, empowering experience for both client and doula. And as our yoga instructor, Britt will also lead our group daily in yoga sessions. Whether you’re a total newbie or an experienced practitioner on the mat, Britt will meet you where you are and nourish your mind, body, and spirit.