Doula in training

I’ve been saving this post for a few months now, but I have some big news.

I’m training to be a doula.

I’ve been attending Bradley classes, I’ve learned how to encapsulate a placenta, and I have spent a lot of time researching how to be the best labor support I can possibly be. I’m thrilled. I have two births to attend in January(ish) and hopefully some more will fall into place in the coming months.

My reasons for becoming a doula mostly involve my desire to heal from my own birth experience as well as a desire to help advocate for mothers during their own birth experiences. I am excited about offering assistance and labor support, but advocating feels like my true passion and the reason I feel called to this.

I don’t want a mom to feel like a doctor’s “recommendation” has to be her decision. Because in the end, it is the mom who makes the decision. Nobody else. The doctor will go on about his routine tomorrow, but this woman will carry the weight of her decisions forever. The perinatologist who convinced me that a c section was the best option for me as a woman has no idea who I am, but I have a scar above my pubic bone that I will always have. If I had had a doula by my side reminding me that I had other options, I don’t think my birth story would have been the same at all.

I want moms to have the birth (or as close to it as possible) that they want. I want them to labor well and lean on me and I want to support them as they work hard to bring a new life earth side. I want to be counter pressure on their sacral vertebrae and sips of cucumber water when they are exhausted. I want to moan with them during those multi-peak transition contractions and let them know that I am by their side while they make this journey.

I am excited to share my knowledge and to learn more as I head down this path. I want to help new moms learn to breastfeed their babies and to be successful at it. I can’t wait to help a mom put her squishy new baby in a ring sling so that she can go about her daily life with the perfect bundle right on her chest.

I will be good at this. I will put my love for mothering and birth to a great use while helping heal my own scars. It’s the perfect match.

I’ll be a doula in boots.

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7 Comments

  1. Risa -  December 22, 2012 - 8:48 am

    I am so excited for you and this new adventure Jessica. You will be an excellent doula! What blessed babies and mamas are those who get to have you by their side. I am so very proud of you. <3

  2. Ashley -  December 22, 2012 - 2:45 pm

    Wow that’s super cool! Way to go being an advocate! I wished I could have had a doula but I couldn’t afford one. There was one that was willing to do 1/4 of my payment as diapers that I made her but I wasn’t physically able to make them at that point anyways nor did I have the time. I wish I could be an IBCLC and doula and not have to charge mamas that really need the help but can’t afford it. My plan someday is to be an IBCLC (I’m a LLL leader currently) but my advice is if you’re able to offer some way to do trades or small payments for a long time or something-but of course don’t put your family out by doing it-it’s just if you CAN do it 🙂

    • Jessica -  December 22, 2012 - 4:27 pm

      Ashley, most doulas offer a sliding scale for their services and I know of a few organizations that want to make sure that no expectant mother who wants a doula goes without based on financial considerations. Additionally, apprentice doulas (like myself) have to attend a number of births pro-bono before they become certified and start charging. That’s another great option for moms who can’t afford birth support but would love the help. And if you click with someone, talk to them. We want to help. Obviously, we need to make some money in this journey, but nobody becomes a doula to get rich, I promise.

      • Ashley -  December 22, 2012 - 11:00 pm

        That’s awesome-yeah there were NONE of those options in my area. I exhausted every resource looking :(. It wasn’t a very “crunchy” area and VERY few natural birth advocates though I had an amazing hospital midwife. We’re in Oregon now and the mindset is very different-hopefully I can get the exact birth I want next time around (especially since we have even less resources until hubby is done with grad school). I know no one is in it to get rich but all the home births were AT LEAST $10k and the doulas were an extra $500-when you barely have enough to buy clothes for your kiddo those figures are impossible to even look at LOL!

  3. Alice Turner -  December 22, 2012 - 4:40 pm

    Best of luck on your doula journey! It is an amazing profession. Please stop by our shop for your doula needs and checkout our FB page for lots of fun doula chatter.

    Alice Turner
    Owner and Doula

  4. Jennifer -  December 22, 2012 - 7:33 pm

    You will be amazing!!!

  5. Alyssa Laughlin -  January 22, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    That is so fantastic to hear!! I wanted a Doula, but didn’t know how to find on here in Kansas. I think it would be fun to coach people on during birthing. I had a fun time during my sons delivery and wouldn’t change anything. We literally laughed him out and I don’t think our nurse had had anyone like us in her care. 🙂

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