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Pros Talk

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Pros Talk

Episode 23 9/15/23

Advocacy in the birthing room

with Denise Bolds

Denise Bolds on birth advocacy with Lindsay McCoy on Pros Talk Pregnancy.

In this episode we sit down and chat about birth advocacy, prenatal prep, postpartum healing and much more with experienced doula and BRM® Faculty, Denise Bolds!

Denise shares her family history and what brought her into birth work. We discuss what is important to know for your client and for you as a doula, before going into a birth where you are not sure the doctor and the client are on the same page. How do we strategize for an optimal birth outcome? What do we do when we see the provider is going against the client’s wishes?

We also discuss not just the importance of advocacy in the birth room, but how to actually support your clients to advocate for what they want for their birth. We discuss what is really needed to shift the paradigm of birth. And what it looks like to doula through a medically complex birth or in a less than supportive environment. How much is too much advocacy? Should we speak on the birthing person’s behalf? Do we just come in with guns blazing or is there a different approach that tends to work better?


We come together and also discuss the importance of prenatal prep, communication, education, and collaboration between the birthing person, their support team and their care providers. Denise talks about the importance of making hospitals more ‘family friendly’ ensuring that not only are they designed to support the baby and the birthing person but also the support team.

How do we address the racial disparity in postpartum healing? As a birthworker, what is our role in supporting postpartum people? Should we really leave new parents alone until the first check-up at 6 weeks postpartum? Denise also shares incredible wisdom and insight on what role, if any, the insurance companies have to play in shifting the paradigm and culture of pregnancy, birth, and postnatal recovery.

Join us for this powerful episode!

About the Guest

Denise Bolds is Bold Doula, she holds a MSW degree and is a doctoral student at Saint John Fischer University. She is experienced in case managing high-risk pregnancies for managed care organizations. Ms. Bolds was one of the first MSW Social Workers hired in NYS for Medical Management in Health Management Organizations. She is a DONA International Advanced Certified Birth Doula with 271 births of experience since 2014. She is certified as an Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Instructor. Ms. Bolds is also a Certified Lactation Counselor providing breastfeeding support and breastfeeding classes.

Ms. Bolds is the owner and developer of ‘Black Women Do VBAC’ She offers mentoring and training to birth doulas; and is known for her advocacy and empowerment in Black birth-work. Ms. Bolds is a noted public speaker, workshop presenter and podcast producer (Independently and formerly with Lamaze); she is MWBE certified in NYS/NYC.

She is a native New Yorker born in Harlem NYC and is a successful single mom of a 32-year-old son. She loves skydiving, algebra, collecting stones and beaches.

Show Notes: Black Women Do VBAC |BRM® Professional Training


Thank you for listening! If you have a birth professional in mind that you would like for us to chat with, please email

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