Wow, it has been five years since I took my doula certification training with the International Center for Traditional Childbearing. I can look back over the years and see how much I have grown as a doula, healer, and woman.
I completed my doula training with the esteemed Mama Shafia Monroe in December of 2011. I conducted my first prenatal appointment in February of 2012.
I got my first full circle client in March of 2012. I assisted my first birth in April of 2012. My first birth was a beautiful water birth. I had my second birth that same month at a birthing center. My third birth came in May 2012 in a hospital. My birthing experience has remained varied with homebirths, birthing centers and hospitals. That’s pretty cool because as I’ve come to learn, most doulas fall into one pot or the other. Some working doulas have never had an opportunity to assist a home birth at all.
As I reflect on my unique attributes and the seasoned doula that I am growing into, I recognize a few positive aspects that make me who I am and inform how I serve.
I use my intuition a lot in my role as a birth worker. This is something that no one can teach. I use my intuition to put together herbal remedies and lead me to find the right wellness modality for my clients.
Flexibility is something that I’ve always used as a birthworker to be responsive and supportive of my clients. I’ve never been one of those “savior” type of doulas that will promise a client the world. I am extremely optimistic and carefully balance best case scenarios, while mitigating complications, and preparing myself and clients for change. I lean on my flexibility to help my clients change course, adapt to environments and persevere through challenges. I honestly thing being flexible is one of my best traits as a doula.
Similar to intuition, the ability to tune-in or plug-in to a birthing mother’s process and family dynamic is important as a doula. Again, this is nothing that can be taught through formal education. This is something innate and honed through experience. I find it rewarding and vital for my ability to be of service to my clients. Tuning-in allows me to anticipate needs, know exactly how far to push/encourage, when to back off, when to offer alternatives and how to amplify a mother’s voice.
Your win is my win
Seriously, when my clients experience a wellness, general life, parenting or birthing win, I feel the win also deep down in my soul. I rejoice everything I get messages from clients saying that they will homeschool their children, that they are surpassing their breastfeeding goals, or have conceived after trying for a while. I’ve been lucky that all of my clients have delivered healthy babies and that always feels like a win to me.
Clients have noted that my sheer presence, voice and demeanor is calming and relaxing for them. There may be many people at their birth, yet, my laboring moms will usually lean on me during transition to get through the contractions. I enjoy demonstrating and guiding my clients through deep breathing, meditation and relaxation. I also feel more relaxed after our prenatal meditation sessions.
I look forward to a bring future in women and family wellness. This has been a fun and exciting 5 years.
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Sis. Freya is the creator of RootMama. She loves encouraging women to achieve greatness.
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