As a junior in high school, I took a college anatomy class, and discovered I had a natural aptitude for the science of the human body. I soon learned about different medical fields, and decided that my dream would be to someday become a Certified Nurse Midwife.
Fast forward fifteen years, an LDS mission, marriage and three kids later, and I had decided to put my nursing degree on the back burner while I focused on being a stay-at-home mom. I was still just as passionate about birth, but had accepted that I couldn’t do much of anything to support birthing women until my kids were older and I could finish school.
Enter the bizarre suggestion to become a doula. See, before this point, any time I heard the word “doula”, it was surrounded by this mystical idea of hippy-crunchy, anti-science mumbo jumbo, and I wasn’t having any of that. I decided to do what I do best when I want to learn about something, and I started to do some thorough research. I learned a lot. Through my subsequent study, and the decision to go ahead and receive the training, I discovered that doulas were about as diverse as the women they support. Some are nurses or medical assistants. Some are nutritionists, personal trainers or massage therapists. Some use herbs, oils and alternative medicines. Many are moms. And the diversity is the point, because this way there is “a doula for everyone who wants one”.
Over the next several months, I attended mentoring meetings, networking events and interviews with other doulas and birth workers. I discovered how useful I really could be, even before earning a medical degree, to birthing women of all kinds. I became more and more educated about patient rights and informed consent, and about the gap between medical research and hospital compliance. I came to see the real need for women to support women as guides through one of the most challenging, but beautiful experiences a woman can ever have. I learned that the way birth happens has a lasting impact on a woman’s mental health, and even her relationships with her children. I learned about the value of birth education, and giving every woman the opportunity to understand her options.
A fire was kindled inside of me that impelled me to push forward, become an entrepreneur, and open my very own business as a birth doula. It has been a wild ride, and I have learned so much. Since my training I have been privileged to assist several women in achieving positive births, and I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Although I gave birth to my fourth child just under a year after my training, I’m working more than ever to provide the kind of unbiased, evidence-based support that women truly need. My dreams to become a nurse midwife are still alive and well, but while I’m a stay-at-home mom to my kids as they grow, working part time as a birth doula has been an excellent way to gain education and experience in the birth community.
Think I’d be a great addition to your birth team? Contact me to schedule your free consultation today!