Sunday, June 28, 2009

Becoming a Doula

I have long been interested in midwifery and natural birth. I love reading birth stories of any kind and can't wait to be present at my first birth. The medical side of being a midwife never appealed to me, but as I learned more about the role a doula can play in birth it felt right for me.

These three books helped to lead me to my decision to start the certification process to become a doula:

A Midwife's Story by Penny Armstrong & Sheryl Feldman
Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent
Adventures in Natural Childbirth edited by Janet Schwegel

As well as this documentary:

The Business of Being Born

Yesterday I finished the first of my required readings:

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

In a couple weeks I'll be participating in a DONA approved training workshop for birth doulas. I'm going to try to read at least one more of the required reading before then. I'm very excited about this process. I feel like after the last few years of being in grad school and not having time for myself and my interests that now I can breathe again. Come alive. I knew that I hated being in grad school, but I hadn't been fully aware of how miserable I was and how I barely existed outside of it. It wasn't healthy and it wasn't living. Now it's time to do what I want.


Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

YAY! YAY for doing what you want and following your heart.

I don't even really know what doula is and never even heard of them before. I need to do some research and read up and inform myself, but meanwhile, I have no idea.

Do they get PAID or is it volunteer?

If they get paid, that would seem like one more expense.

I had natural childbirth for both of my children, and was "coached" through it by my husband.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Coached, cheered and assisted by my husband--we went to Lamaze training. I'd never heard of doulas.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

My friend Scott's girlfriend Nessa I believe was a midwife in the Philippines but now is studying to go into elder care becasue the requirements here are so different.

I am way behind on blog reading and commenting becasue of my trip and then being sick for two days.

a/k/a Nadine said...

From the DONA website: "The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period."

A doula does not replace the birth partner, whether it's a husband or lover. She supports the mother and the birth partner to have the best birth possible.

Sorry you've been sick. Hope you're feeling better now!

Smellyann said...

I think it's awesome that you want to do this. My friend Erika is working towards her midwife... degree? certification? I don't know, but she's loving it. LMK if you want to contact her for any reason.

Also, Steph needs a doula! Come down here for Halloween and practice on her! ;)

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Better yesterday, worse today. You win some . . .

Hope it all goes well with this and everything!

Anonymous said...

Alright! I'm so glad to hear this. Doulas are such a big help during the birthing process ... it is an incredible experience.