Volume 1, Issue 6
We just got back from the Share the Vision 2016 Conference, what an exciting and memorable time it was. I loved being able to put your faces with your names and give you all the hugs. I hope that you were able to take something away from conference and put it to work for your businesses. I wish you so much success and I know that coming to conference each year is one of the things that will help you achieve it.
One of the perks of conference attendance announced this year is that attending our annual conference qualifies you for re-certification! Instead of having to submit a re-certification packet every two years you now have a second option for meeting your re-certification goals. Attending conference shows us your continued commitment to your professional development and we honor that with this perk.
This month we have added a little over 80 doulas to the ProDoula family. Welcome home! Looking forward to all who are scheduled to join us this month!!
Don’t forget to send me your web page questionnaires so we can add you to the ProDoula Website – this is another one of the many perks of being a ProDoula member and we don’t want you to miss out on it! Also, if you have moved and have a new address, please don’t forget to let us know.
Always remember that the ProDoula Home Team is here for you no matter what – give us a call whenever you like. We love to speak with you.
Have a great month!!!
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My favorite part of the conference was reconnecting with doula colleagues and friends from last year and meeting face to face with others I only knew online. There are times I feel isolated living in an area of the country where other doulas are not supportive of me due to my entrepreneurial mindset.
The philosophy of getting paid what I am worth is huge for me, as I was ready to leave the doula profession because I thought I could not make money doing what I love. Being around other like-minded business folks who are doulas was a huge boost of confidence and joy for me. I know I am not alone!
I loved going to hear Meaghan Grant talk about partnerships. That was amazing being able to go with my partner, listen, and then talk about what we need to do to be better and how we can change for the better.
I think hearing Rosie Pope give her speech was also motivating to me. I realized I was being judgmental about Rosie, and hearing her tell her story did two things: First, it helped me realize whether I like it or not, I still have judgmental thinking and I need to be continually working to rid myself of that. Secondly, I realized that there are many successful people around me that I can look to as role models.
They came from humble beginnings and had to work hard to get to be where they are at. I too need to continue to work hard and not give up on the successes I want.
Rosie highlighted for me that no matter what is thrown in front of my path to success, I can keep pushing and I can be successful. There are many examples in the ProDoula family that shine as examples of what Rosie was talking about, whether it be financial success, emotional success, or business success. I hope that I am a shining example of success to someone.
The most important message for me: I am a person who, for most of my life, has had a poor self-esteem and if I thought I might fail I saw no point in trying.
Failure was paralyzing to me. Being at the conference helped me see that I am a strong and powerful woman. I can do hard things and have done hard things. I WILL continue to do hard things.
It is okay for me to speak my truth, not be embarrassed about my truth, and use my truth to move deeper into what I was meant to be: A business woman. A strong woman with a passion. An AMAZING lady who has worth!!
The conference also helped me reframe how I see my struggles. I know there might be times when I falter or fail, which is okay. I have others with me on this journey who can help me when needed. I don’t need to be paralyzed by the fear of failure.
I AM SPEAKING MY TRUTH! I AM ENOUGH!!
What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened at a training?
Our trainings are 10 hour days. That’s a long day. And there is so much information to go through, so much hands on practice and very important sharing that we do in those 10 hour days. As the trainer, I try to minimize my breaks so that we lose as little time as possible. That means I probably take way less restroom breaks than I should be taking. Coupled with the huge amount of water I drink during trainings, not enough restroom breaks is a bad thing.
Near the end of the third straight day of training I suddenly realized I had to run to the restroom. We were in the middle of an important discussion, however, and I put it off. The urge got worse. I wondered if I could make it to the end of class, a mere hour away, but knew that if I didn’t go soon I’d have problems.
I excused myself and ran out of the conference room and into the restroom next door. I got myself into a stall, pulled down on my skirt and just managed to get myself in position in time. And then I realised that my skirt was half in the toilet. I did my best to quickly rinse, dry it off with paper towels and return back to the important discussion we were having. Though I never told anyone, it was enough that I knew it happened, but that day I peed on my skirt. I now take more frequent restroom breaks.
Share with us the moment you realized the importance of doula work.
I was working with a postpartum client who had a lot of anxiety. She was a doctor and used to be very successful and organized in her daily life. Suddenly she was forced to be at home, keep strange hours and felt unable to understand her brand new baby’s behavior. She was worried that the stress she was feeling and the disruption to her normal life was going to negatively impact her relationship with her husband.
It really struck me how profound our work is when I found myself sitting and chatting with her for hours on end. I might wear the baby to help him sleep a little longer while we talked about life and ate her mother’s home made Indian food. We chatted about work and travel while folding the household laundry. It struck me that a new mother, with noone to share these moments, noone to bridge the gap between work and parenting, noone to help them understand what was normal, these people were so isolated and unhappy.
We sometimes explain what doulas are by describing part of their role like that of a professional best friend. It sounds frivolous when I say it like that. But when you’ve had a doula, a professional, there supporting you through the challenges of being a new parent, you know it’s anything but frivolous.
Share with us an epiphany you had at your own doula training.
I’d been a doula for nearly a decade when I took my first ProDoula training with Emily Pelton in the spring of 2015. It wasn’t long into the morning of our postpartum training when it finally clicked, fully and completely, that our client’s choices and desires just didn’t matter to me anymore.
I had been trying my best to be a judgement free doula. It was hard to learn over time that if my clients wanted to choose an epidural after first planning a medication free birth that it wasn’t a failure on my part or theirs or the systems. Emily’s training made it so obvious and simple: our job as doulas wasn’t to help our clients have “natural” births or breastfeed successfully. Our job was to listen to their desires and support them as they tried to realize those desires, no matter what those desires were for parenting or birth.
It was freeing to realize this. And that understanding has changed my entire life.
Narrowing down favorite foods seems an impossible task! I love soups of all kinds. I could eat soup forever! My favorite cuisine is probably Middle Eastern. But I love all cuisines and it’s a special treat to check out the different local food cultures on my doula training adventures.
I love the color plum. Deep, rich and purple with an undertone of red. And black. I love black. I can pair black with everything!
Must have item when traveling to a training.
I can’t go anywhere without a book. If I’m stuck somewhere, waiting in lines, waiting for planes, unwinding at night after teaching all day I need to lose myself in a book. After the Trainer’s Conference in June I picked up Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger.
I listen to podcasts and music. I love Beautiful Anonymous, Sampler, Death Sex & Money and Crime Writers On… For music I have a number of playlists and records to suit my mood including My Morning Jacket, Jenny Lewis, Fleetwood Mac, Wilco and Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes.
4 acorn squash (seeded & cut into cubes – no need to peel)
5 carrots chopped
1 yellow onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs curry powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp coriander
1 can coconut milk
1 can chicken/vegetable stock
Salt/pepper added to taste preference
In a large pot over med/high heat swirl in olive oil, add onions, garlic and seasonings until soft and fragrant. Add squash, carrots, coconut milk and stock. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to make the soup smooth and creamy.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with warm naan.
(For a more intense flavored soup, roast the squash and carrots with the garlic @450* for 20 minutes)
There’s no doubt about it, the ProDoula Share the Vision conference was a powerful event. There was laughter, tears, applause, singing and inspiration all around and that was just during the opening ceremony!
At registration, each member received a goodie-packed swag bag, and the first 100 registrants received a special gift and every attendee received their choice of a breastfeeding pillow from Boppy.
Good-natured and often hilarious competition was found over at the Doula Olympics where activities challenged participants in many doula-related events. Who had the fastest and most secure swaddle, who could perform the fastest Moby wrap and who had the stamina to hold the longest hip squeeze were among the most popular events. There was music, laughter, dancing, fun and mimes. Yes, mimes! Attendees were also given the opportunity to vote for their favorite logo for next years Speak Your Truth 2017 conference.
An information packed day of learning was kicked off by Jerry Patterson who taught us about using google analytics to help build business strategies. Jerry taught us how to us analytics to develop keyword strategies and how to drill down on trends to optimize our search keywords.
Byrke Sestock discussed the importance of planning our financial journies as we begin to generate revenue and grow or expand our businesses. Byrke underscored the necessity for planning for retirement, investing short and long term and overcoming our internal negative or fear based dialogues around money as we plan our financial futures.
Social Media Maven Erica Patterson from Yellow Jacket Social blew our minds with her session on strategy, development, organization and execution of social media management systems. This session was filled with golden nuggets for the business owner who wants to reach their target market through optimization of the various social media platforms. Erica also shared some common social media mistakes that can impact our reach on social media that many of us make every day.
The afternoon sessions focused on the practical side of our work. First up was Dr. Meedlen Charles OB/GYN who discussed the red flags of postpartum recovery of the mother during the first 6 weeks. Dr. Charles presented a wealth of information to aide labor doulas, postpartum doulas and postpartum placenta specialists in understanding the warning signs of trouble in the postpartum mother and the necessity for immediate referral back to a medical care provider.
Sabrina Nitkowski-Keever RN & Director of Maternal Child Health presented on collaborative care between doulas and obstetrical staff to help create better births. Sabrina gave much insight into the pressures and demands that obstetrical care providers face and the many challenges that misguided and distrustful doulas can present to both the medical staff and birthing family. Sabrina underscored that as doulas it is not our job to protect families from their medical team. Inserting the doula between the client and the staff only serves to breakdown communication, breeds mistrust and ultimately dis-empowers the family the doula is there to serve.
Dr. George Mussalli OB/GYN led us into the evening with an engaging and touching session on gentle cesarean for a gentle postpartum experience. Dr. Mussalli discussed the ways in which a hospital can help families achieve a gentle, family-centered cesarean birth which will enable them to have the optimal conditions for a smoother and gentler postpartum transition. In addition to the the physical and emotional benefits to both the mother and the baby when a gentle cesarean and gentle postpartum approach is used Dr. Mussalli provided tangible information that doulas can take back to their communities to help clients request gentle cesarean births and to help keep the experience focused on the family.
Linda LeMon RN, IBCLC sat down with us for an in-depth lactation Q&A session. Linda spoke to us about many of the breastfeeding challenges and hurdles that new mothers and babies can face. From sore nipples to tongue ties, to supplemental feeding systems that can be used while trying to address underlying breastfeeding problems Linda provided us with a wealth of experience and information. Linda’s extended Q&A session allowed doulas to drill down and learn about the common problems they often see in their own clients and Linda debunked some of the common breastfeeding myths that still exist today.
Rounding out the evening’s presentations was Marion Welch from Cryo-Cell. Marion is a senior member of the Cry0-Cell educator field team and has been educating families and medical care providers about the benefits of cord blood banking for the past 15 years. Marion presented the most up-to-date information and research on the benefits of cord blood banking. Included in this information was the importance of banking tissue from the umbilical cord and the unique properties of the mesenchymal, or tissue-derived stem cells available within. The advances in the use of cord blood are happing at an ever increasing pace. While there has traditionally been a lot of skepticism among doulas about the benefits of cord blood, Marion left no stone unturned in presenting what the evidence proves when it comes to the uses and benefits.
On our final day, Catie Mehl ProDoula Labor and Postpartum doula trainer and owner of Columbus Birth and Parenting kicked off our morning with her presentation on “Growing Up Doula.” Catie’s presentation addressed many of the common fears doula have about how our children might feel about the long and often unpredictable hours we work. While many of the children that Catie interviewed expressed that at times life was hard when mom was gone, they all had the tendency to express that in the big picture they learned how to do hard things and were proud of their parents and their work with growing families.
Our keynote speaker Rosie Pope closed out the conference with her inspirational talk about starting and growing a successful business and the many side steps and missteps she’s taken along the way.
Rosie shared her experience with mistakes and the inevitability that we will make them as business owners. Having learned from experience, Rosie shared that when we make mistakes we should see them, acknowledge them and move on. Rosie also underscored the importance of not looking to other people’s success as a sign of your failure. We don’t have to be the first, we just have to be really good at what we do.
Closing out her session Rosie reminded us “If you have the value and can convey the value of what you have to offer, people will pay you.”
Randy Patterson’s closing speech moved attendees. Together, we closed out the Share the Vision conference year and welcomed the Speak Your Truth conference year! Her inspiring closing words will resonate throughout the year.
“Be confident in your convictions. Walk your talk. Let nothing take you off your path. If you fall, get back up! Immediately! And always Speak Your Truth!” -Randy Patterson
“I’m actually not sure I could name favourite part of conference since literally every second there changed my life.
I can say that within the first hour of the opening ceremony I had gone from having no desire to ever be more than an employee for an agency to desperately needing to start my own. That was a powerful moment for me… And it completely changed my perspective on the rest of conference.
Hearing about Deb and Randy’s struggles really helped me see past my own current struggles and know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel… And I actually can make this doula dream work for me.
The most important message I took home was what I learned from Catie’s presentation because it took away all of the fears and questions I had about having a family and being on-call. All of those amazing kids kept that fire inside me lit because I know when I finally do start a family I won’t have to give this life up… Instead, I’ll just be making it way more awesome. I can’t freaking wait till next year!”
“My favorite part about conference was the opening ceremony. I loved seeing everyone get their recognition for all their hard work over the year and hearing Randy and Debbie’s stories. It was very inspiring and helped me set goals for my business year for 2017.
My favorite speaker was Dr. Mussalli. It was really great to hear him speak about gentle cesarean. I loved hearing that with gentle cesarean it incorporates maternal choice and helps preserve the benefits of vaginal delivery such as skin to skin. It was a glimpse at present hospital policy for some and the future to come for all of us, I hope.
Honestly, the most important message I took home was that I am enough.
It was so inspiring to hear so many stories, it helped me put my own journey into perspective. I saw that I had been putting MANY of my doula colleges on a pedestal and telling myself that they were way ahead of me in every area. Getting a chance to speak to some of them I realized that a lot of us are on the same page or having the same struggles.
It helped me to not be so hard on myself and also to understand that I really am enough. I’m doing much better than I thought.”