Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: My background is not in birth work; however, my soul and personality was made for this work, although I didn't realize this until recently. I have a Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology and have always worked with young children. I also have 2 daughters of my own who are 4 and 2. With my own children, I was able to experience two very different but beautiful births. I was also part of my sister's labor and birth of her first daughter.
What led you to become a Doula?: After giving birth to my first daughter in the hospital, I immediately knew that I wanted a different experience with my next child. Shortly after she was born, I attended a birth circle group with other new moms. The leader of the group was a semi-retired doula with whom I immediately connected. She was a woman I knew I needed to be around and I knew instantly she was going to be a regular presence in my life. Once I became pregnant with my second, I asked her to be my doula. She was there during my unmedicated birth and helped me to have the birth experience I desperately wanted. I felt so empowered and new. This was the experience that first sparked my interest and it has followed me ever since. I didn't know where it would lead until my sister asked me to assist with the birth of my first niece. She had hired a doula but also wanted me there. Watching my little sister throughout her labor and watching her give birth made me feel so honored. And watching her become empowered and new was the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed. It fed my soul. That was the moment I decided to pursue birth work.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
My close friends and family say that I have a calming presence. I am quiet and meek but a force when needed. They also say that I am a badass and amazing!
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: The book that I enjoyed reading as I prepared for my labor and birth experience was "Birthing From Within: An Extra-ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation." I also gained a lot of mental strength in watching Ina May Gaskin's Tedx Talk Titled "Your Body is not a Lemon." In this lecture, she states: "We are the only species of mammal that doubts our ability to give birth." We are often too wrapped up in our thoughts and fear and anticipation of pain that it's easy to forget that our body's are part of nature and they know exactly what to do.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I think about a pregnant person's beauty and amazing strength. The capabilities of the human body and mind are truly astounding. When I see someone with a brand new baby, I often think of the behind-the-scenes moments that aren't necessarily visible to the public eye. Babies are hard and it's often easy to smile on the outside but be an emotional wreck on the inside. Being kind and sending positive energy to the parents of a new baby are essential.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: I feel that the best gift you can give a new parent is time. As a birth worker, take the time to check in with them. Take the time to send thoughts/prayers/good energy. Also giving them the time to adjust as a new family. It also doesn't hurt to give coffee 🙂
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: The Office
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Holden Beach, NC
What is your favorite food?: Pizza
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: Spending time outside, taking a hike, playing with my girls
Who lives in your house?: Myself and my 2 daughters, Sallie and Etta.