SQUAT’s Retirement – What you need to know

Yes, it’s true.

SQUAT is retiring. We would like to deeply thank you, our community and readership, for your support over the last six years. At its founding, SQUAT sought to fill a desperately needed gap in print media for alternative, anarchist, radical birth workers, and we are proud of all we have accomplished and contributed over the past half-decade together.

We’ve put this page together to answer some questions that might come up around our closing up shop. Please review the information below. If you have additional questions, you can email us at squattingbirth@gmail.com.

Wait, so you’re ending SQUAT completely?

Yes, our final issue, Issue 22, was just released. We will not be making any further issues.

But why?

Choosing to end SQUAT was not an easy conclusion to come to. Simply put, as the core volunteers for SQUAT, we no longer have the immense amount of time and energy it takes to keep SQUAT running and progressing. We are feeling the pressure and demands of a changing birth world, changing priorities, changing ideas of what SQUAT should be, and can no longer keep things afloat in a volunteer capacity.

Our lives have all greatly changed over the last few years since we started working with SQUAT. We’ve had (more) babies, started families, moved between states and countries, lost and gained loved ones, and all struggled with our time and finances. While SQUAT has been an important and loved part of all our lives for years and years, we respectfully and honestly no longer have this much of ourselves to give.

Will I still be able to order back issues of SQUAT?

Yes! All of our issues have been uploaded onto MagCloud, an on-demand printer/publisher we used in our first few years of operation. Through MagCloud, you can order individual copies of each issue of SQUAT and continue to download digital versions of each issue for free. We hope to keep SQUAT up on MagCloud in perpetuity so that folks can continue to access the important content in the pages of the magazine!

We have also donated several full sets of SQUAT to personal and professional libraries around the world — please see the bottom of this page for more information on where you can find these print issues.

Will there be another SQUATfest?

No. It was an honor to host SQUATfest 2013 in San Francisco and SQUATfest 2015 in New Orleans, but we will not be organizing any future events. We would be happy to share our experiences and resources with folks who want to organize events in the birth and reproductive justice communities, just reach out to us at squattingbirth@gmail.com.

How long will your website stay up?

We will keep our website up through 2016 and perhaps beyond! You can always reach the SQUAT editors at squattingbirth@gmail.com – we will keep that email going for as long as we can!

How else will SQUAT be preserved?

We are excited to donate several full sets of SQUAT to the libraries of some amazing organizations around the world. Please see the list below to see if you can find a set in your community!

Makeda Kamara DEM, CNM, MPH, M.ED, NP  — St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Crucian Birth Renewal is the name of our start up  program at the Prenatal Clinic/Maternal Child Health Dept of St. Croix Virgin Islands. We are offering Centering Pregnancy, Childbirth Preparation and Breastfeeding Classes and a Learning Center with videos, books, etc to expose our womyn in St Croix with options.  Presently, there are NO options for womyn here.  It’s the hospital where womyn are not “allowed” to ambulate or have a say in how they birth.  After a few mos here, I was called on the carpet for giving womyn false hopes.  This gift will expose my ladies to ideas as we rebirth birth here in St Croix.

AESFQ – Association des étudiantes sages-femmes du Quebec (Student Association of Midwives in Quebec) — Quebec, Canada

A.E.S.F.Q. (Association des Étudiantes Sages-Femmes du Québec) is a very pro-active organisation of student midwives from the French community of Québec in Canada. The students have access to a space of their own within the university, devotedly arranged for sharing day-to-day as well as profound knowledge, heart, inspiration and vision. A wonderful home for Squat!

Native Youth Sexual Health Network —  Canada/US (Wisconsin, NY, Toronto, Edmonton)

The Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN) is an organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada.

The Changing Woman Initiative - Santa Fe, NM

Changing Woman Initiative is a developing non-profit that seeks to draw on cultural strengths to renew indigenous birth knowledge and healing through holistic approaches and community empowerment. It is focused on developing a culturally centered reproductive wellness and birth center. By creating a physical space for education and healing for Native American women, we feel this will help reclaim cultural identities through birth and motherhood that has been shaped through our cultures. As part of our efforts to create waves of change in our communities, we have plans to establish a lending library that will provide information regarding reproductive justice, birth, motherhood, and parenting.

Viva Doulas— San Antonio, TX

Based in San Antonio, Viva Doulas aims to raise community awareness about the role of Doulas, provide a listing of local Doulas, maintain high standards within our profession and support Doulas by providing continuing education and a peer network. This library will be an invaluable resource for us, our clients and those that we serve through various organizations in our area, reaching thousands of families!

Kingdom Academy — St. Louis, MO

From ACT study guides to fiction young adult novels, the Kingdom Academy library and conference room provides a place for our students to study, read, and congregate. A portion of our library is dedicated to sex-positive books and informational materials, and I’ve been working to expand the information on pregnancy and birthing options that are available to them, as we still have a high rate of teen pregnancies in our city schools. Many of our girls are coerced into birth plans and situations that are traumatic, and I believe having Squat magazine as a part of our library would be very empowering for them to read and could be used as a further resource in working with their families during their births. All families under our registration of service, which is currently 90 students have access to our library.

Prison Birth Project — Holyoke, MA

Reproductive justice with women & trans* people at the intersection of the criminal justice system & parenthood

Wildcat Birth Doula Collective — Baltimore, MD

Wildcat Birth is a Baltimore-based doula collective dedicated to serving the entire community regardless of potential barriers to care. We extend our volunteer full-spectrum doula services to individuals experiencing homelessness, survivors of intimate partner violence, incarcerated individuals, and substance using pregnant people. We are working to build an inclusive support community for pregnant and parenting individuals in Baltimore, featuring our growing lending library available to our clients and fellow birth workers.

Bay Area Midwifery: A Community Wellness and Birth Center — Oakland, CA

The Bay Area Midwifery Birth Center has multiple birth and treatment rooms, a large birth suite with a built-in tub, a kitchen, and meeting spaces for group prenatals, parent groups, and childbirth education.

Austin Area Birthing Center — Austin, TX

Austin Area Birthing Center is the largest birth center in the country and is entirely run by midwives, nurses, and doulas. Our wide reach has brought us into the forefront of change in the Austin birth community as more and more women demand woman-centered care. We’re very excited to add SQUAT to our library, which is available to clients, family members, staff, and students.

Ashley Hinton-Sharp/The Lotus Project — Western Montana

The Lotus Project is a non-profit dedicated to making pregnancy and postpartum a happy and healthy experience for women in Missoula, Montana.

Mandala Birth — East Kootneys, BC

I’m Darla Sparrow owner of Mandala Birth, I offer birth doula services, placenta encapsulation, prenatal classes and birth tub + TENS unit rentals. My lending library is pretty extensive with many copies in rotation of the popular favorites. I have everything available from fertility to pregnancy and birth, nutrition, parenting and marriage books as well as a few dvds. I am so thrilled to be adding the complete series of SQUAT magazine to the library! I know there will be many happy readers in the East Kootenays!

Thank you for your years of support, love, contributions, and encouragement. It has truly been an honor to be on this journey with all of our readers, allies, volunteers, and supporters. 

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