A Doula Story: Loretha Weisinger
By OBOS — April 1, 2009
From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: Joni Elihous
Nominee: Loretha Weisinger, Doula
You can see this courageous woman for yourself. She has done a documentary:
I was so impressed, I knew I needed to nominate her.
I’ve seen this film at a Long Island Doula Association meeting. Wonderful film. Bring your tissues!
If only all young women had this kind of caring support.
Also, the Long Island Doula Association has a program with SNAP which provides a doula to young women for little or no cost. Please see lidoulas.com for more info.
Loretha is one of my heroes– I am so happy to see her here!
Loretha seems to have found a way to empower women and girls who otherwise would seem to have little to no options. She plants seeds in these women. She shows them compassion. She teaches them that regardless of what came before, now pregnant and as new mothers they can make a difference. She inspires them to make smart choices, to advocate for themselves and their children. She models the art of attachment through which these mothers will be able to break family cycles. She guides them along their journeys into motherhood so that they may emerge empowered. There is no end to where that empowerment may drive these women that she has touched. They learn that they are important: That what they do matters, That they can depend on someone. They are encouraged to breastfeed and bond in a community where detachment seems to be the norm.
I hope she wins
I ususally watch 30 minutes of Storm Stories, eat lunch and then take a 30 minute nap during my 2:00am lunch hour, but as I was switching channels, I noticed the GPTV (Ga Public Television) was on. I thought it would be off air at that time. Although the show was 20 minutes in, I was captured by the calmness of the ladies who were speaking in a round table discussion about teen pregnancies and the cases they had. I had no idea what the show was about, but decided to continue watching. The film showed a lady take her position as an encourager and labor coach as seriously as the president takes his job. I didn’t know her name until I came to the website, but I was so intrigued by the story, her name didn’t matter. Loretha had the calmness and patience of anyone I have seen in a while. Her caring for the teens who may have been in a not so “accepting” situation showed through her encouragement, her smile, her tone of voice, her teaching the girls how to handle their babies, her gifts, her perserverance and her persistence. I am 44 years old with no children, no husband and still considering having a child. I only hope to have someone like Loretha with me when and/or if I decide to still have a baby (Dr says I’m still okay). I would feel extremely comforted to know that someone would be with me to get me through the intense pain that I saw on those young ladies faces in the film. Good work Loretha. Kudos to you and God bless you. Good luck.