My Journey to Becoming a Doula
The birth of my son has changed more than just taking me from woman to mother, it's changed the entire path of my life.
When I became pregnant, I thought I knew what I wanted. I put hours upon hours of research into strollers, car seats, cribs, nurseries ideas, the whole lot. But I skipped one essential component. I left out birth. How he would be brought into the world, and what his first experience on this earth would be. My thoughts towards birth were typical...I wanted it to be as quick and as painless as possible and just hoped for the best.
It was when I came across a blog post of photos with women giving birth to their children drug-free and immersed in water that something started to click. The look on their faces was an indescribable, pain-free joy. I started to look a bit deeper into this idea, and kept coming across the seemingly endless benefits of a natural birth...shorter labor, the freedom to move, reduction of a possible c-section by 25%, far less likely to tear, the natural pain relief and rush of oxytocin, and above all: Empowerment. We were made for this.
A few weeks later, I attended a birth class. I asked a million questions about natural birth, breastfeeding, what birth and labor was going to be like, and how I could get through it. This is where I met my doula! She was teaching the class and mentioned what having a doula at your birth could bring and how beneficial they are to your birth space. *Side note/ fun fact! Did you know evidence shows when continuous support was provided by a doula, birthing people experienced a:
31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
28% decrease in the risk of Cesarean*
12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*
As late in my pregnancy as I was (28 weeks?) I knew after talking to her that I wanted to have a doula with me. Only to find out that she herself was one! She found a way to fit me in and so began the next part of my journey. Having her come to my house to answer my thousands of questions, all with evidence-based research behind each answer, was one of the most reassuring things I could have asked for with being a new mom.
Having her at my birth was nothing short of incredible, she brought a sense of calm and empowerment to the room that I needed to help guide me through my natural water birth. She brought the quiet acknowledgment of knowing what I was going through, and the knowledge of how embrace my labor and meet it face to face to have what was the most beautiful day of my entire life. Watching my son, peacefully being held in the water with the sun shining across the room, I was thankful to have had the encouragement from her that I could do this…and I did.
I knew from that moment that I wanted nothing more than to bring this kind of comfort to others, to have someone with them to reminds them how strong and amazing they are through one of the most challenging and beautiful journey our bodies can endure. To help educate with months upon months of research I have read, to be there to bring that peace when it's most needed. I wanted all moms to know that birth doesn’t have to be treated as if its an illness. I set a goal for myself, that once my son was a year old that I would begin my journey to become a Doula.
16 months later, I am Birth Arts International trained and have attended yet another life-changing experience of watching a family of two become three. I am constantly looking for new ways to further my education and knowledge in the birth world, so I can bring the absolute best care and comfort to new families. I know in my heart that this is what I am here to do, and I am beyond excited to see where this takes me.