DOULAS AND PARTNERS
a dynamic team
A doula does not take the place of a partner. I am a support person for both the mother AND her partner. If Mom doesn't remember much about me at her birth, but she remembers the wonderful support her partner gave, my goal will be accomplished. A few ways I support partners:
suggest ways to support mom
ask timely questions to prompt discussion at important moments
encourage self-care so that the partner can continue to provide good support for the long haul
allow respite when the partner needs a quick break--Mom never has to be alone
reassure about aspects of labor that may seem worrisome but are actually normal or even a positive sign of progress
help interpret what is going on medically if there is confusion
Partners need support, too! You know Mama, and I know birth. Together, we can make a great team.
CERTIFIED LABOR DOULA
Childbirth International 2015
I chose Childbirth International because it was a good match for my philosophy. They emphasize evidence-based care, informed decision-making, and reflective practice.
Skills Training, January 2019
Spinning Babies training has been one of the most useful things I have done for my doula practice. It helped me to deepen my understanding of the physiology of birth and how to support it.
MIDWIFE ASSISTANT TRAINING
Fruitful Vine Services, August 2019
Since Alabama began issuing licenses to homebirth midwives (CPMs), there is a growing need for people to assist them. I had an opportunity to train as an assistant, and I took it. I feel like it's always better to have more skills, and I would love to be useful to the growing midwife community.
TENS IN LABOR TRAINING
I am very excited to be able to offer my clients the use of a TENS unit as one way of coping with their labor.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: LEGAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHILDBIRTH
It's so important to know what legal and human rights my clients have when they give birth and how to help them access those rights.
Birth Monopoly, January 2020
STILLBIRTHDAY BIRTH AND BEREAVEMENT STUDENT DOULA
I am currently engaged in a training course to prepare myself to support families who face difficult outcomes or loss.
Stillbirthday Academy--In Training
Never stop learning
How I got here...
A BIT ABOUT ME
After the birth of my second child, the nurse who had cared for me told me, "You should teach those classes!" With a newborn to care for and hopes of having another child within a couple of years, that wasn't something I was immediately prepared to look into, but I filed it away for a later time.
A few years down the road, after many efforts, it looked like that longed-for third child would not be coming. So I thought about what I would like to do with myself if my childbearing season was over, and I decided I would like to teach childbirth classes. I looked at all the different certifying organizations, and chose Childbirth International as being the best fit for me. It emphasized informed choice and evidence-based care, two things that were very important to me.
When I enrolled, I had the opportunity to obtain a dual certification as a childbirth educator and a labor doula, and though I had not considered doula work previously, I thought it was a good opportunity and enrolled. The course was rigorous and satisfying. I ended up finishing the doula certification first, and began attending births.
After attending only a handful of births, I became pregnant with my daughter. I was delighted! I had hoped for another child. Being pregnant and then having an infant to care for, however, made doula work problematic for me. Teaching childbirth classes was more manageable, however, since they occurred on a regular schedule and could be planned for, so I began teaching childbirth classes.
I first taught independently, and then joined forces with the amazing Ashley Lovell (of Strong Mama Birth and Alabama Prison Birth Project) to form the Birth Village Comprehensive Childbirth Education Class. We have been teaching that class for a few years now, most recently being joined by the awesome Erin Brown (also of Strong Mama Birth and the Alabama Prison Birth Project). In 2019, I taught the Birth Village Classes on my own as Erin and Ashley focused on the important work of the Alabama Prison Birth Project. In 2020, Sarah Doyle of Joyful Birth began teaching with me, and we plan to teach together through the first half of the year, after which, she has another exciting project to focus on.
In 2017, I realized that my life had reached a place where I could attend births as a doula again. My children are older and I have more flexible resources available to help cover my bases when I leave for a birth. So I have re-entered doula work! I am excited to be available in this way to the women of our community!
To date, I have assisted at 17 births. I have learned from every one of them.