|By far, some of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my life, next to giving birth to my own children and all the blessings that come with that responsibility, have been of supporting and nurturing women through their pregnancies and labors as well as after the birth. |
My story begins over 18 years ago when I witnessed/experienced my first birth. Although I didn't realize it at the time, this is where my journey as a Doula began to unfold.
My sister, pregnant with her first child had invited me to be in the delivery room with her and my brother-in-law, who I considered to be her primary labor support. I definitely felt that my presence in the delivery room would be beneficial to her in some small way but I truly was in unknown territory. My main objective was to be there with them to rejoice in the birth of their son!
I no longer recall the exact time during my sisters' labor when a major shift occurred, which changed my level of responsibility to her. I only recall the events that took place prior to that shift occurring. From that moment on she would consciously turn to me for her primary labor support. During each contraction our eyes would fix on each other, our hands would tightly grasp, and our breathing unified until her body readied itself to push, to bring forth into the world her long awaited and dearly loved child.
I had no formal training and no prior experience with birth. I would not even have my own child for 9 more years! Yet, I had something she needed and I willingly gave it to her. I thought only about what she needed and how we, working together, could get those needs met.
Bottom line she needed to be told that she was strong, that she could do it and that she was doing great! That the pain was worth it and that she was going to be a wonderful mother. She needed to be reminded to take her breath down, to push all that life energy down to her baby to encourage him to come out into the world where the people who loved him most were waiting for him with open arms and hearts! I have been forever changed and humbled by that experience! To be given the trust that comes with being a Doula, for me is one of the highest honors I could be given. It is not only the birth of a child occurring, a mother is born as well!
Philosophy of Childbirth:
My goal is to encourage women to welcome, trust and embrace their labor as one of the most essential elements of the birth process. Our bodies were not only designed to hold, nurture and sustain a life we were designed to birth and to nourish that life once again through mothers milk. Labor is a very personally intense and exhilarating experience that cannot only empower us as women but can also help us to identify our own strength in other area's of our lives!
Support is key! Through my experiences I have found, hands down that listening to a woman and her partners concerns, fears and hopes is key in having a successful birth experience.
Educate yourself! If you can't find the information you seek ASK! Weigh the pros and cons of each procedure and/or option you are considering prior to being in labor.
I strongly believe a woman and her partner have an obligation to themselves and their unborn child to take an active role in deciding what kind of birth experience they desire not only for themselves but also for the welfare of their child.
You owe it to yourself and your child, in those precious 9 months to prepare. Taking action will only empower you to make the right birth choice for you. Preparing yourself for the birth of your child(ren) is as vital as taking care of your health prior to becoming pregnant as well as, while you are pregnant.
Have a birth plan. Talk about your birth plan extensively with your partner and your labor support team. Designate someone to advocate for you. Be open and willing! You may need to deviate somewhat from your birth plan in the event that an unexpected situation occurs during labor. Remember that birth is not always predictable but that everyone wants the best possible outcome for you and baby! Above all else trust and believe in yourself and the process of birth!
Disclaimer: This site is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for personal medical advice, attention, diagnosis or treatment. If you are concerned about your health or your baby's health, please consult your family's health care provider immediately.
Disclaimer: The doulas who work through Renaissance Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals, LLC are independent contractors. Renaissance Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals, LLC does not assume any liability through the actions of your independent contractor.
Doulas are non-medical professionals who support women and families in Labor and Postpartum. They are trained in the normal course of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. They are not qualified to give medical advice, please use the information on this website as a general guide.
Always check with your Care Provider to be sure that you are doing what will be best for you and your baby.
PHOTO CREDIT: All professional photos provided by Erika Eve Plummer and Debbie Baxter. Thank you for making our site beautiful!