I am a birth doula, childbirth educator and homebirth midwife assistant. I have been involved in the world of women’s health care for 14 years and have been working in childbirth since 2000. I came to this work straight out of college with a longstanding belief that we as women are deeply impacted and shaped by the experiences we have in our bodies and the ways in which people speak with and relate to us about our bodies.
I had initially thought I wanted to become an ob/gyn but quickly realized that the work of obstetrics and gynecology these days focuses more on diagnostics through lab tests and technology than it does on getting to know one’s patients and finding out what they are experiencing. This realization led me to the discovery of the world of birth doulas.
As a doula, I have the opportunity to work closely with women and couples through a mother’s pregnancy and birth experience as I educate and support. As a homebirth midwife assistant I bear witness to birth in its most organic and intimate context. To me, the most important way I provide support is by making space for the mother and couple to ask questions, decide what she wants, feel supported, heard and like there is someone at their side protecting her experience while being in a more objective and neutral space.
Over the years of working in this field I have witnessed an astounding variety of experiences and continue to see births and experiences that surprise and inform me. With each new client I get to know and each birth I witness, I believe ever increasingly in the innate wisdom of a mother’s body, her baby and the connection between the two. I have come to see that if we truly get to know the mother, her body and her experience, we will gain amazing insights into her health and what will lead us to the most uncomplicated and positive experience.
An ideal birth experience can only be described by a mother herself and the descriptions of ideal are infinite. A mother recently described her birth as the most exceptional and transcendent experience of her life and this birth was, by no means, a quick, easy or expected labor. For her, it was the perfect birth.
I look forward to sharing and exploring with this online community some of what I encounter along the way as I witness the powerful ways in which a woman’s experience of childbirth shapes her experience of herself, her motherhood, her sexuality, her body and how her prior experiences of these shape her childbirth – for better and for worse. As well as exploring my thoughts on some of what we see presented in the media about pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, and different understandings of the physiology of the whole event.