Dustin Young has been interested in the birthing process since he was a young child. And though he has no kids of his own, witnessing his sister’s pregnancy and her reportedly unsupportive treatment from medical staff a few years ago prompted the Carson, California native to gain his certification and become a male doula. As an advocate for safe pregnancy and delivery, Young hopes to use his knowledge to aid Black mothers through the often difficult childbirth process.
Explaining his passion to Spectrum News 1, Young said, “As I got older, I just kind of like look at women as gods essentially, which you guys are,” Following Young obtaining his doula certification in Los Angeles, California, he has now assisted in three births.
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Young also admitted his male peers joked about him being a man and helping women through childbirth, which some may ignorantly consider being a “woman’s job.”
Luckily though, he took a moment to teach his friends, telling Spectrum 1 News, “They start clowning me like, ‘That’s not for us. That’s not our space. What are you doing?’ But I’m like, ‘Technically, it is, bro. The pregnancy process is two people,’ It’s like, how do I empower the men to be there and let them know like you are part of the process?”
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Young cites his younger sister’s pregnancy as his main reason for becoming a doula. According to Spectrum 1 News, she told her brother a few years ago that she was left feeling alone after medical staff didn’t offer her enough support during her pregnancy. Unfortunately, she ended up delivering a stillbirth after her baby’s heartbeat stopped.
When she became pregnant again years later, Young located a doula for his baby sis and even became a doula’s assistant to ensure that she didn’t have the same experience as before. After aiding her through her labor at home, Young had the honor of cutting his nephew’s umbilical cord when she was later transported to a hospital.
Hoping to stay on top of his game, the young male doula continues to learn more about the birth process at Kindred Space LA, where he earned his certification.