A few months ago, I started writing this blog. I started with a post about breastfeeding week because I think it is so important, and women need more support to be successful! This is one of my passions. But I've been thinking about it, and wanted to write a little bit more about me, and why I became a doula, and what I'm doing to be a better doula, and why everyone should have a doula.
When I was 12 years old, I had the privilege of being there for the birth of one of my brothers. I was under prepared for it, but it was beautiful. My mother had my brother "naturally", without epidural, and though I didn't think about it at the time, I was very impacted by it. My mom had never really talked about her birthing experiences, but I knew I wanted to do it like she had. She always had a more natural approach to health, giving us echinacea, garlic, and vitamin C when any of us kids got sick. Rarely did we go to the doctor or hospital. But we did go, for broken bones, or sicknesses that weren't fixed with herbs and vitamins. That mentality just spilled over into my life, and thus, my pregnancy labor and birth. Birth is not a usually a medical emergency, though it is treated that way in the hospitals.
Fast forward to 14 years later. I was pregnant with my first child, a boy, and while I didn't pause to think why, I wanted to do the same thing, and have my baby without drugs. It was just what I felt ingrained in me. I asked my friends about their doctors and went to a natural birthing class. The class was taught by a doula, and I knew that I wanted one. But we were newly married college kids, and didn't have money for a doula, so I put it out of my mind, and prepared as I could. A few weeks later, I was talking with a co-worker, about birth, and she asked if I wanted a doula. I said I did, but didn't have money to pay one. She said she'd been trained as a doula, helping teen moms, and would love to be my doula, free of cost! I was ecstatic! She visited me a couple of times, talking about how things might go. She came when I thought I was in labor a week before my due date. Alas, nothing came of it, just some contractions. She suggested I walk, have sex, and enjoy the last bit of my pregnancy. A week and a half after my due date my doctor(who wasn't as nice as I'd thought) forced me into an induction. I don't remember much outside of my brain during labor, but I know I had a great team of people behind me, and I know my doula was there.
With my second, I didn't have a specific doula, but my mom and sister were there, helping me, talking me through. I have never felt so supported and loved as I did then, with everyone working to help me. In the months following my second's birth I decided to become a doula. And I have loved every minute of it.
I took the DONA certification class, though I'm not certified though them. I loved being with other women who were the same as me; who loved birth, and wanted to help women, and weren't afraid to be different from the status quo.
I volunteer at University hospital to get more experience. It has been great, and, on top of experience, I have also received training in breastfeeding, using a rebozo to help mom more comfortable and help baby turn, and about how to support a woman with an epidural. It has been great so far.
In February of this year, I had the wonderful opportunity to take an Advance doula training through Birth Learning . We discussed all sorts of topics, from prenatal interviews, to postpartum care. It was truly an uplifting experience. Not only did I gain experience, I also gained mentors and friends to work with.
As thought of how to better serve my clients, I found an acupressure class to help minimize pregnancy related concerns; promote a natural, shorter, more comfortable and positive birth experiences; and minimize post partum concerns. Nick Olow of AcuMassage taught a great class. I strive to use these techniques in my daily life, as well as my practice.
In December I get to take a breastfeeding class from Julie Johnson IBCLC. I am so excited to learn from her, and be able to better support my clients who choose to nurture their baby in this way.
In the future, I am looking forward to talking classes specifically in Postpartum Care, learn Spinning babies techniques, and so much more! I love the chance to learn and grow, and would love to use my skills to support you on your journey into motherhood whether this is your first or forth time becoming a mother.
Leave a comment on what trainings you have loved the most.