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Speak From the Body

Dec 18, 2019

Double award-winning doula and birth activist Mars Lord has been a birth keeper for well over a decade. After attending the Paramana Doula course with Michel Odent and Lilliana Lammers, a spark was lit within her and the passion that she discovered for birth and supporting parents has fired her soul ever since. She has had the privilege of working with hundreds of families. A birth activist, with a desire to see the ‘colouring in of the landscape of birth’ and finding out the reasons for the maternal and neonatal morbidity rates amongst the BAME community, Mars created Abuela Doulas a doula preparation course primarily, but not exclusively, for women of colour. Her desire for reproductive justice led to the creation of the ‘Reproductive Justice Retreat’. Mars was recently recognised in the Mayor of London's Hidden Credits campaign and continues to speak out about cultural safety and reproductive justice. Mars is the mother of 5 children, including twins, and a new Nonna to her little grandson. 


  • Self-care and time out after supporting at a birth 
  • Doulas and burn-out
  • Mars considers the most important quality of doulaing as the ability to ‘be’ and walk alongside the woman/ couple
  • Mars became a doula mentor and went on to create her own doula training that’s culturally safe
  • There’s more to a culture than what it looks like on the surface
  • Black and Asian women are more likely to die during birth 
  • Abuela means ‘grandmother’ in Spanish and Abuela Doulas is the name of her doula training
  • Mars’ best buddy aka ‘the wife’, Nicola Goodall- here’s her episode with me:
  • Profiting from traditional practices such as baby-wearing and co-sleeping
  • The impact of colonisation on birth and motherhood
  • Inclusivity in marketing material 
  • Supporting and lifting one another up
  • Learning to take ownership about your body
  • “You’re a Queen, not a handmaiden”
  • Navigating a new relationship with her daughter now that she’s a new mother
  • The stereotype of the ‘angry black woman’ 
  • The dynamics that happen in groups and online regarding talking about race
  • Elaine Olumide- black MP and model from Scotland
  • Being in a heard in a system that’s not meant for you
  • Dr Christine Ekechi, obstetrician working to reduce racial disparities in healthcare -
  • Blaming black and brown bodies for poor outcomes
  • Research already shows that pain relief is given at lower rates as it’s believed that black women have higher pain tolerance
  • Intergenerational trauma is considered, yet enslavement trauma isn’t addressed 
  • Modern gynaecology progressed by experiments of enslaved women
  • Knowing your importance doesn’t put others down, it brings everybody up
  • Mars’ self-care includes theatre, red wine, good books, trusted friends, dinner and dancing.
  • Reproductive Justice Retreat:




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Birthing in Colour - A space for Black and Asian women