So. I haven't mentioned this before, but I've decided to begin my certification process to become a labor doula! I'm working the CAPPA program, which is recognized world wide, and supports all kinds of perinatal professionals (not just labor doulas). This will be great if I decide to also become certified as a childbirth education counselor, lactation consultant, or postpartum doula. They also have amazing programs including Teen Education or Pregnancy Fitness Educators. This weekend is my very first in class session and the start of a long and exciting process which will, hopefully, culminate in my own business after a few years of volunteering/part time labor support once I'm certified.
Ever since an Anthropology of Birth class in college, I've been drawn to and fascinated by the culture, politics, history, philosphy and realities of birth. During that class, and then in my subsequent research, I learned about doulas. A doula is not a medical professional. During birth there are many of these, caring people who are there to ensure the health and safety of mother and baby. Instead, the doula is there to focus solely on the mother and offer continuous emotional, informational, and physical support.
The idea of providing support to all kinds of mothers and parents, during this momentous change in their lives is thrilling to me. To be able to support women as they learn about their bodies and options, and to ensure that they are grounded in their power feels amazing. I'll be learning how to support all women's informed decisions - be it water births at home with a midwife, planned cesarean sections at a hospital and everything in between. I'll be making sure she has a straw in her drink, that she knows that she can request more information before a test is conducted, connecting her to support resources in the community, ensuring that she understands her hospital/birth centers policies and most importantly, I'll be helping her to feel confident in her choices.
Once I complete the weekend course, I'll be able to start shadowing any and all births. I would be honored if you would consider me as a birth companion for yourself or your friends and family as I embark on this amazing journey.