mama glow doulas
The conscious life is the self-realized life. At the end of the day, it is up to us, after all, to sort out who we are and what role we want to play in this world. But, there’s something special, something human, something...necessary about the idea of receiving a little help now and again.
Latham Thomas, master birth doula, best-selling author, and founder of Mama Glow, knows this as truth. “We gather because our lives depend on it,” she told us. “In even the earliest known societies, we see evidence and examples of women supporting women in childbirth.”
And that is what Latham does. Not only with her clients, but also in her doula programs where she trains women seeking the doula path on how to care for the most marginalized and at-risk of expectant mothers.
This renowned Doula Immersion program is now coming to LA for its first run of 2019. We sat down with her to learn more about it, her mission, and her revolutionary idea to change the way we think about communal support.
What does the doula immersion program look like, from a programming perspective?
The doula Immersion is a deeply informative and spiritually grounded weekend where we explore best practices and a balance of evidence-based research and the ethereal. Its a 3 day intensive from 10-6pm and it’s like being in a womb. Everyone emerges closer to each other, the women process wounds, heal, and grow in an environment that has been designed to swaddle them the entire weekend. A big component of the program addresses the current landscape of maternal health in this country and the black maternal health crisis. We empower our doulas to support the most marginalized. Our immersion program is deeply rooted in birth equity and maternal justice. We are thrilled to be heading to LA to launch the program there in partnership with Saje Wellness. The program will take place in a sunny loft in Venice beach and each of our attendees will receive a curated gift bag full of self-care and aromatherapy products. We even have a self-care corner for attendees to decompress.
What advice would you give to anyone who's interested in becoming a doula or providing support to new moms?
So many of the narratives we have been taught have shaped the way we view the female body. Everything in our culture turns women away from their bodies. So at a transformative time like the childbearing period, women are often fraught with anxiety. We are here to help women reclaim their bodies as sacred and feel empowered in the magic and wisdom of their bodies along with educating and advocating for women and families of all configurations.
What's your favorite thing about the immersion program?
My favorite thing is the diversity of doulas! We have welcomed women from all over the USA and globally, our student body includes women from 6 continents! We also have an intergenerational program with women from 19 years of age to 60 plus! The Immersion is a weekend grounded in healing, in growth and transformation. We do not sit in a classroom setting at desks and learn. We gather in a sacred circle and witness each other. There is a focus on evidence-based and the ethereal because there is a lot of magic and mysticism that surrounds birth. We anchor in ancestral tradition and truth-telling and we center marginalized voices and perspectives. I love our Chinese Medicine module with Dr. Angela Le and the breastfeeding advocacy lecture with Kimberly Seals-Allers and in Level 2 the babywearing module is a lot of fun too!
You're an expert in fertility and women's health—what's the value a doula provides?
A doula is a birth worker who provides education, emotional support, physical and spiritual support and advocates for the expectant mother and family. A birth doula helps mentally and emotionally prepare a mother for birth. She attends the birth and offers early postpartum support. I was led to the path of doula care. It chose me. I believe that this path chooses the women who embark on it. The support a doula provides is invaluable and in some cases its life-saving.
What do you wish more people knew?
Humans lived communally because our lives depended upon it. In even the earliest known societies, we see evidence and examples of women supporting women in childbirth. Birth is our rite of passage, and Mama Glow is our birthright—to walk in grace, power, and wisdom, to have understanding, reverence, and trust in our bodies. We have a women’s space that is grounded in spirituality, the sacred body and self-care. It’s located in Williamsburg Brooklyn where we offer our support offerings, our doula immersion program as well as workshops and events. We need more spaces like this to convene. We envision a space that fosters sisterhood and that is what we strive to cultivate.
What do you want your doula trainees to learn more about?
We see birth as a unique opportunity to support and empower women as well as educate society about the innate strength of the female body and the sacred process of pregnancy and birth. We offer full-spectrum support for fertility, birth clients and new mothers, holding their hands as they transition into this new phase of their lives. We seek to dismantle the stigmas and fears around the birth process for women. We also work to democratize birth support and have birth doulas available for every woman who desires one. We want our trainees to learn more about the challenges certain communities face and how to offer authentic support. And this is part of what we impart in our teaching.
What's your mantra?
I walk with a sacred message from my ancestors imprinted on my soul.
I am all about taking responsibility and accountability for how I show up in the world. We created a program because the work we are doing doesn’t exist- we are putting our own unique imprint on the work and it is informed by those who come before us and will touch the lives of those who come after us.