Everyone involved with Doula UK has been saddened to learn of the death of Sheila Kitzinger on Saturday.
Anthropologist, author, Birth Crisis founder and inspiration to many, Sheila was an incredible woman who brought about real change in how women are treated during childbirth, placing women’s rights and choices at the very heart of childbirth. In a pioneering career spanning more than 50 years, her research, knowledge and passion have had enormous positive impact for millions of women worldwide.
We were fortunate to have Sheila speak at the inaugural Doula UK Conference in 2013 and she was, of course, one of the highlights of the conference that year. Many doulas, lucky enough to hear her speak there, remember with a smile how she made the young cameramen blush with embarrassment when she – an octogenarian in flamboyant clothing – was on stage making the sounds of a woman in labour and talking about orgasms. Her energy, knowledge and passion continued to inspire many, even in her eighties.
Sheila’s legacy will live on in her books – she authored over twenty-five bestselling books including The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth – everyone she inspired, and in the radical changes in maternity care she campaigned for and oversaw.
Her long-awaited autobiography A Passion for Birth: My life: anthropology, family and feminism was finished shortly before her death and is due to be published by Pinter & Martin in May 2015. Anyone wishing to leave a message to be passed onto Sheila’s family can comment on the Pinter & Martin website.
The thoughts of the Board and Management Team of Doula UK are with Sheila’s family and friends at this time.
The Board & Management Team, Doula UK