Posts for : June 2013

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BAI Student Profile- Jessica Walker

Jessica Walker

I chose BAI for many reasons, but the main reason was that it offered a more holistic approach to becoming a doula and serving your clients. I try to empower women through their birth experiences and I felt like the education I would receive from BAI would enable me to do that. It’s also very reasonably priced and you don’t have to pay yearly membership fees, like most other certification organizations. My doula highly recommended BAI because Demetria is so accessible. When my birth became complicated, my doula called Demetria and chatted with her about it. That was an unexpected personal touch that I wanted during my own training.

One of the best things I learned during my training was my limitations. I really explored some of the ways I may not serve as well as I’d like, and I had a lot of time to consider how I’d cross those barriers. This isn’t something many doulas consider until they’re in the situation. I found this to be helpful because it helps me serve a wider range of people than I may have otherwise. It has also helped me define my niche and consequently better know how to take on the right clients for my practice.
I’m a 26-year-old mom of two amazing kids, one born in the hospital and the other at home. I live with my boyfriend, Dan. I love to read and write, blog, crochet, sew, hike, camp and rock climb. I like listening to indie and classic rock. I have to admit, my life is pretty rockin’.

My life’s work is about empowering women. I do this as a doula and childbirth educator. I also encapsulate placentas. I’m a certified event planner and I use this training toward planning Blessingways and baby showers. I’m a Red Tent facilitator. I’m also a blogger about holistic lifestyles, self-improvement and personal growth. I plan to continuously learn new ways I can serve women.

 

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Are there some things that happen to us from which we can never recover?

Are there some things that happen to us from which we can never recover?  

Is it even possible to heal from birth trauma? I’ve seen this question in various forms posted frequently by mothers who have survived birth trauma. Often, these mamas have been working so hard for their own healing – going through their birth notes with the midwives, seeking out counseling or therapy, networking and sharing support with others online, and telling their stories. – See more at: http://rebeccaawright.com/2013/06/are-there-some-things-that-happen-to-us-from-which-we-can-never-recover/#sthash.Q1FdLBZe.dpuf

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BAI Profile- Heather Keeney

BAI Profile- Heather Keeney

1. Why did you choose BAI?

The logo! Seriously. When I first decided to become a doula, I did a lot of research online. I found tons of info about some of the larger organizations (DONA, CAPPA, etc.), and while the information was good and piqued my interest, it didn’t really resonate with me. Money was also a concern—we were a single income family at the time, and it was looking like following my passion was going to have to wait a bit, because I just couldn’t afford the training. Then one day something with the beautiful BAI logo popped up on my screen, and it was like someone was saying, “HEY! Over here!” I read through the information on the Birth Arts website, and I KNEW I had found where I was meant to be. When my scholarship application was accepted, it was like coming home.

2. What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?
That even though we arrive at the same destination (birth), we don’t all follow the same path to get there. There is no one “right” way for us to birth our babies. I learned that in order to be the best doula I can be, I had to let go of some of my own notions about what a “good” birth looks like. A hospital birth with an epidural and an OB can be just as good as a homebirth with a midwife and no meds at all—what matters most is how a woman feels about her experience. I learned that in order for me to best serve the women I work with, I may have to leave my activism at the door, and I learned how to be okay with that—not every client needs you to advocate for her in the same way, or for the same things.

3. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 36 year old mother of 3 boys, ages 17, 4 and 2 and a half, as well as one middle-aged furbaby: a Siamese cat. I’m fortunate to have a truly amazing man as my partner in crime—without his unwavering support and belief in my dreams, I would never be able to do what I do. I’m a voracious reader (my favorite book is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett), an avid crocheter (I love anything with granny squares—they make me super happy!), and a lover of good beer (I’ve never met a Belgian Tripel I didn’t like.) I really enjoy crafty endeavors—any time I see something I like, I catch myself wondering, “Could I make that?”, sometimes with hilarious results. Other than the work I do as a doula, I am a stay-at-home mom, and plan to homeschool my two youngest.

4. Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.
My Business—Ordinary Miracles—currently offers both birth and postpartum doula support, as well as breastfeeding education and support and independent childbirth education. My plans for the future include being able to offer customized aromatherapy and herbal products, and to facilitate mother blessing celebrations. My doula “dream” is to someday work with a community organization that focuses specifically on teen mothers… or to found one myself.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrdinaryMiraclesDoula
Web: http://www.ordinarymiraclesdoula.com/
Email: OrdinaryMiraclesDoula@gmail.com

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BAI Profile- Kristyn Blocher

Kristyn Blocher, Breath of Life Birth Services

1. Why did you choose BAI?Breath of Life
After completing an initial birth doula course and later realizing that the certifying organization it was approved for, was not the best fit for me, I did a more thorough search of training/certifying organizations.  This led me to BAI and I quickly found it to be a superb training organization with excellent course options, certifying options and an overall philosophy that I knew would suit me very well in my doula work.

2. What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?
Oh my, I’ve learned many things about myself and continue to!  I’ve more fully identified how my own personal experiences with pregnancy and birth have driven me into doula work.  Also, I’ve learned what a doula sisterhood can look like, in a very genuine way & some of the reasons why its so important to have in place.

3. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Pacific Northwest native…webbed feet and coffee included.  I’m a single, homeschooling mom to two great children, ages 11 and 6.  I love to play in the dirt and let things grow, getting a special kind of thrill when I fill my freezer with tomatoes from the backyard.  Having assumed the role of the family hippie, I’m into herbal medicine, essential oils, making as many of my own first aid & home care products as possible and I drive a raised jeep that loves the back roads.  I aspire to own a small patch of acreage where I can expand my little flock of hens, get started with two or three mini dairy goats, establish a ridiculously large vegi & herb garden and integrate a business office/meeting space into my property.

4. Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.
My business is called Breath of Life Birth Services.  I provide birth & postpartum doula services, placenta encapsulation and herbal products for postpartum recovery and family wellness.  I’ve developed and grown the business a little at a time over the last few years and am excited to be experiencing good rates of growth.  I am fortunate to be able to serve amazing families here in Western Washington.
Future plans include expanding the local locations where my postpartum & family wellness products are being made available, continue forward with finding the balance between client loads and raising my children, and of course, attaining the above mentioned small patch of acreage. :)

Kristyn Blocher, Breath of Life Birth Services
www.doulamatters.com
(360)888-7174
doulamatters@hotmail.com

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Book Review- Essential Homebirth Guide

Book Review- Essential Homebirth Guide Jane Drichta and Jodilyn Owen.

“Our goal is not to have every mother birth at home—our goal is to encourage parents to gather quality information, to gain exposure to a philosophy that screams trust in mothers and trust in babies, and to provide parents who do plan a homebirth to be well equipped with an understanding of how to thrive in that decision.” – Jane E. Drichta, CPM and Jodilyn Owen, CPM, authors of The Essential Homebirth Guide: For Families Planning or Considering Birthing at Home.

And that is what this book does. I love how the book speaks to mothers about her options, her choices and encourages her to explore and address her needs. I will be adding this book to the Birth Arts International reading list, and I will have a few copies on hand for my client lending library.

The book is readable, absorbable and readily digestible for parents and family members. Thanks for giving women information in a clear, concise voice. The book is full of information for communities, education, preparation, communication stated in a compassionate voice.

 

Thanks!

Get your copy at Amazon

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Book Review “Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart – A Midwives Saga” by Carol Leonard

Book Review “Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart – A Midwives Saga” by Carol Leonard

This is a must read for all midwives, and midwives to be or birth workers in general.

I have met Carol at a few conferences and actually purchased my copy directly from her, and she is as fabulous in real life. She speaks with a clarity often not encountered in life let alone on a book on midwifery, and its struggles.

She weaves her personal story throughout the book and makes the reader understand the struggle, drama and the actual life part of a midwife. Midwives have lives, and families and needs like anyone else, and she presents their needs in a way that leaves the reader in awe of the awesomeness of birth work and the dedication needed when one dips her toes in the waters for the first time.

I will be adding this fabulous book to our reading list for the midwife’s assistant training program. Thanks Carol, sharing your integrity, and journey will I am sure inspire many birth workers of the future.

You can get the book here on Amazon.

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Meet a BAI Pro

Caroline Dotson

DotsonWhy did you choose BAI?

I chose BAI partly because of the distance learning program but also because I felt like after reading and researching about Demetria Clark that we were like minded in our ideas about birth, supporting women in their decisions and in the holistic approach to child birth (and life). I love that she was an herbalist and that she was so willing to mentor her students, even from afar. She was great about communication and always responded to my emails even when my enrollment was delayed. BAI is different than other doula certification in the way it looks at the whole woman and not just pregnant aspect of the woman.
What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?

I have learned that I have to set aside my personal view of birth when it comes to supporting women and their families in choosing the birth that they want. It is not my birth. I will not steal the “stage.” I have a strong personality but I realize that being that strong voice in a women’s ear is much more valuable than being that strong aggressive presence. Recently during a birth the couple didn’t know the sex of their baby and when the baby came out I said “IT’S A…” and quickly silenced my self, letting the mother announce the sex as she sat up to see. If that would have happened six months ago I would have proudly shouted out the sex with no regard to the sanctity of the parents being able to enjoy the moment for themselves. I am very grateful for all that I am learning at Birth Arts International.
Tell us a little about yourself.

Dotson Family

I am the mother of four boys, 11, 6,  almost 3 and 14months. I had 2 epidural births and two natural birth center births. I am passionate about women knowing what there choices are in birth and developing a community of female support, through a doula and/or midwife, will help women make better choices. I am also in school to become a midwife. I live in rural Colorado and there is only one midwife who covers a large area and no doula’s for 40 miles. I previously owned a bookstore but as my family grew I knew I was being called to a different career. I love Jesus, I have holistic view points and I believe in doTERRA essential oils. I love hanging out with my boys and my husband of 14 years, going camping, to sporting events and doing ministry. You can find me cooking, playing with yarn, sewing, reading, being silly and learning about midwifery at any given time.
What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future as a doula are to offer a my services, birth doula, breastfeeding counselor, mother’s blessing ceremony, and postpartum doula, to the women of my community along with the surrounding areas for the next year. During that time I plan on implementing a program to offer my support FREE to single women and teens who desire it. I would love to teach  a few other women how to become doula and be a doula mentor, along with developing a more informative child birthing class and informing the community of the choices in childbirth. As I finish up my academics for midwifery, I plan on starting my clinicals and spending time learning about midwifery in the Philippines, this would put my doula work on hold but will add to my experience. I have two long term goals: one is to stay in my community and develop a better birthing community of people, possibly opening a birthing center on the Western slope of Colorado or becoming a missionary midwife (with my family) teaching the women in underdeveloped countries the skills of midwifery and how they can implament them with little to no medical supplies that would make the reliant on other organizations.

Learn more at www.bdabirth.com

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Meet a BAI Pro 0

Chelsie Towns

Chelsie

Why did you choose BAI?

I had been planning on enrolling in a formal program for doula certification for two years before I enrolled with BAI. I studied independently for some time and actually referred to BAI’s book list for resources. When I finally sat down to choose a program, I had several pulled up on my computer screen and I just kept cycling through them, reading through each one’s websites. I asked friends and in online communities for their opinions. I chose BAI, ultimately, because the people who recommended it jived more closely with my personal philosophies and BAI seemed to as well.

What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?

I learned I did not just have an interest in birth, but a passion. I went from having a self-centered focus in my studies (what originally prompted me to study birth arts was my own traumatic birth, it was an attempt to understand what happened and what I could do the next time around to improve my experience) to wanting to share what I had learned with other women and help them make informed choices in birth. I became more extroverted as I gained confidence in my knowledge. In the last year, I’ve learned that my path is one steeped in birth arts. And for the first time in my life, at 30 years old, I finally feel like I know what I want to be when I grow up! (Aside from a mother, of course.)

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a mother of three children, two boys and a girl, all born within three years of one another. Most of my life is centered around being an attached, peaceful parent. We’ve just bought our first home and we’re looking forward to “urban homesteading” with a huge garden and adding chickens next spring.

Aside from all things birth and babies, I’m an avid knitter, enjoy nature and love cooking and baking. I’ve long been very interested in holistic healing and have been very informally studying herbal medicine for a number of years. After struggling to breastfeed (and ultimately finding out that I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue and being unable to produce enough milk for my babies), I’ve come to learn a lot about galactagogue herbs, as well as herbal remedies for PCOS/hormonal imbalances and those used to support a healthy pregnancy and labor. So when I saw the program for Women’s Herbalism, I enrolled immediately and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the program.

I’m active in my community as a babywearing leader through Babywearing International, by helping organize our local Improving Birth Rally and by organizing the first baby expo in our area in a number of years this year.

 

Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.

I’m currently working as a birth doula and placenta encapsulator under the business name Thanks Givings Doula Services (named for my daughter who was born at home on Thanksgiving Day in 2011). I absolutely love my job! I had planned on offering postpartum support but have had to push those plans off for a while after having my third baby in December. He is much loved but totally unplanned, so my business plans had to adjust.

My motto is, “Supporting your informed birth.” I truly believe women have the right to birth however they want, but they should have ALL the facts, something that is seriously lacking in today’s birthing culture. I stress to my clients that birth is not a means to an end of pregnancy, but the moment they become a mother. It’s significant and I believe the birth process deserves respect and serious consideration.

I’ve been talking with an organization that connects teen moms with volunteer doulas to help bring the program to my area (it’s currently up and running in the Green Bay area but that’s a good 40-50 minute drive for me, which is a bit much for a free client). Considering my city had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Wisconsin when I was in high school, I feel it’s a very worthwhile and important program.

I’m looking forward to continuing on my path in birth arts and plan to enroll in Ancient Arts in the next few months. I hadn’t started out planning on becoming a midwife, but I’ve found I truly feel pulled in that direction, though I don’t see myself ever totally giving up being a doula because I feel for those women who absolutely must birth in a hospital, a doula is essential and enjoy that aspect of my work.

My website: www.thankgsivingsdoula.com

My FB: www.facebook.com/thanksgivingsdoula

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Meet a BAI Pro

Tammi Padilla

Tammi

Why did you choose BAI?

I began to research Doula certification, in March, when I felt drawn to this line of work.  I have a friend in Portland, OR, who is a Doula, and she recommended DONA and CAPPA for my certifications.  But, when I found BAI, I felt like I had come home.  I love the holistic focus, and that we really have to dig deep for some of these assignments. Sure, it’s a lot more work, but I am learning so much more than I would have otherwise.  Not just about being a Doula, but about myself.  Also very helpful to me was the scholarship program.  I don’t know how long I would have had to wait to begin, without that assistance.
What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?

During the course of my studies, I have learned that there are times to stop thinking with my brain, let go, and just listen with my heart. I have learned to trust my gut instinct, and that it isn’t too difficult to feel what is needed in many situations. I have learned that I am stronger than I believed, and that many decisions in my life have led me to the path I’m on.
Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a mother of four, beautiful, perfect, children, aged 16 – 25.  My eldest, is expecting identical twin girls, who will be my first grandchildren.  Currently, I am working as an in-home caregiver for seniors, and in this capacity, I have really learned what it is to serve another human being.
Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.

I am concurrently working on my Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula certifications (although I am much farther along on the Birth Doula assignments).  Once these are completed, I intend to obtain my Childbirth Education and Breastfeeding Support certs, and also learn about Aromatherapy.  Although I do not intend to exclusively serve teens, I would like to specialize in supporting teen mothers, with these services.
You can find Tammi online at- www.averellbirthservices.com

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Meet a BAI Pro 0

Brandi Rainey- Student Spotlight

How long have you been a doula?

Officially, I’ve been a student for about a month now (as of 02/2008)  But unofficially, I’ve been a doula since I  was about fifteen.  When the women in my  family gave birth, I’d spend their first night home from the hospital with them,  to take care of them and the newborn.  So  it appears I’ve been a postpartum doula for a while.  I attended my first birth when I was  twenty-one.  My good friend demanded that  I be present during her labor and delivery.   She said her husband would be no good in the LDR.  She was right…lol.  She sang my praises to her family and they  kept me busy for a while.  Had I known  that there was an official capacity for a doula, I’d have been one for years  now!! But obstetricians don’t like to let on about the effacacy of women  helping women birth.

 

Do you feel BAI offered you something that was unique?  What was it?

I researched many different avenues for becoming a  doula.  DONA was offering a workshop in  my town in February, but I didn’t get the feeling when looking into it that I  did when I happened across BAI.  And  there was a training workshop for ICTC (International Center for Traditional  Childbirth) in Atlanta that I was all for, but circumstances prevented from  being able to attend.  But BAI is wise  woman-centered, which I love!  And it  offers advance doula training in herbs and nutrition.  I’ve already purchased the herbs course, so  when I finish the birth doula training and herbs course, it’s onto nutrition!

 

What was your favorite part of the training?

The activities!   They really make you go within yourself.   I can’t say that any other training that I researched focused so much on  preparing the doula-to-be for the spiritual aspects of this work.

 

Do you feel that the work Birth Arts requires will or does  allow you to work as an effective doula?

Definitely.  I was  raised in an obstetrics environment.  My  grandmother was an obstetrics nurse and I devoured all of her literature.  When my brother was born, I asked my mother  if she delivered vaginally or by cesarean.   I was six.  She said the nurses  were flabbergasted when she told them.   But I always felt like something was missing in maternity care.  A lot of soul-searching led me to become a  doula.  The work that BAI requires  affirms with each assignment that this is my path.  And it assures me that I have everything I  need to be an effective doula.  Maybe even  a good one.  But I’m not stopping  there…I’m looking into becoming a CPM in the future.

 

How are you working as a doula now?

I’m still not working officially as a doula, though my  first certification birth mommy is due any day now.  I’m glad I was so enthusiastic about getting  my bag prepared.  Though I never thought  I’d have a birth so soon!

 

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a thirty-three year old single mother of two future  midwives. (Oops, my hopes are showing!)   By day, I work in employee benefits.   By night, I’m a diligent and enthusiastic BAI student.  I practice Goddess-centered spirituality and  believe She is truly smiling on me right now.

 

Do you have a website? Please feel free to share.

http://www.myspace.com/lyrikallyshe

And I just set up a new personal email account dedicated  to all things related to childbirth and midwifery.

sistahmidwifetobe@gmail.com