Posts for Tag : doula

standard

Growing a Birth Community

Growing a Birth Community

BAI Training with Mavis Gewant

BAI Training with Mavis Gewant

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” – Proverbs 29:18

When I first became a doula in 2009 I tried to start a doula network, facilitating meetings and workshops. I desired a community of colleagues, sharing their experiences and encouraging one another in their journey to empower women during the childbearing year. Unfortunately after 12 months roughly hosting regular meetings and plus two workshops, it had not thrived like I had hoped. I live in Delaware, up until several years ago it was near impossible to find a doula.

Most people had no idea what a doula was or did, if they had heard the term. The handful doulas I knew of lived an hour north of me bordering Pennsylvania. I had to surrender to the fact that the community I live in just wasn’t ready for a doula network. I put it on the back burner until the community was ready. However, I never surrendered my deep longing for a birth community.

 

Over the years as a birth professional I actively sought out doulas in my area; aspiring, new and seasoned alike. I worked to keep communication going, by adding those with an expressed interest to my email list or newsletter; to inform them about activities and events they may be interested in. Rarely I heard beyond the initial email inquiring about how to become a doula. It was disheartening for me.

This experience led me to change my approach a bit. Several times a year I attend events like baby fairs, holistic health expos and lactation educational seminars as a vendor so I can reach two types of audiences: consumers and health care professionals. It’s a really great opportunity to network with supporters in the community and potential advocates who can help promote your cause on a professional level within state health departments, health care practices, hospitals and various other organizations.

 

You could also seek out networking opportunities with like-minded women through babywearing groups and breastfeeding groups like Le Leche League. While these groups are not directly birth related, they are still a wonderful resource. 8 years ago we had no Le Leche League, but today we have two! When Delmarva Babywearers, first formed about 8 years ago about 5 women attended monthly. Their babywearing group has exploded into 6 meetings a month (some social and some instructional) with 15-20 women attending! I encourage all new local moms and my clients to attend their meetings. I have found it to be one the best sources of passionate advocates to tap into. While they may not be actively involved in every birth-relative initiative, they can help spread the word to new members joining their group.

 

Another fantastic option to creat a birth community is through an established organization like Birth Network National, who have chapters nation wide. The Birth Network is comprised of parents, professionals and advocates. Your state or community may be in need of you to start a chapter. An organization like Birth Network National has already done all the work to establish and can give you ideas on how to create a birth community. In Fall 2012 I started the Delaware

Birth Network with great anticipation. In June the Delaware Birth Network hosted a successful “Doula Night”. Several women came out to support doulas, learn about becoming a doula and learn about what doulas do. I wish I could tell you our monthly meetings have a lot of people attending or even regular attendees. However, Delaware has tremendous obstacles to overcome to grow a thriving birth community. I firmly believe in time with a lot of hard work and creativity we will reach more people.

 

At the end of May I had the great privilege of hosting a doula workshop for Birth Arts International, which 12 wonderful women attended. One of the most touching parts of the workshop was that one of the women who attended was a former doula client of mine! That is powerful and beautiful! I had planned this for nearly 9 months and been dreaming of ways to grow the birth community in Delaware for 5 years. For quite some time I have been the only active doula in central Delaware. While some may say by hosting a doula workshop I’m “training my competition”, I disagree, I believe there is power in creating colleagues so your impact may be greater. Helen Keller said it best, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

 

In order to continue seeing growth in the community we must also facilitate opportunities for continuing education for birth professionals. Fall 2013 Delaware will be having its first placenta encapsulation workshop. In 2014 I hope to host a workshop with Lara Catone, to teach a workshop to birth professionals, about diastasis, pelvic floor health, scar tissue and it’s effect on labor. The neat thing about the workshop with Lara is that while I feel is vital information to all birth professionals, it will also be open to consumers. It’s a great opportunity to blend parents and professionals together!

 

If you are waiting for a birth community to start thriving in your area, stop waiting and start getting busy! The “community” may be waiting for YOU to cultivate it! Reach out, network, prepare to be rejected and ignored but don’t give up. It may take years but it will be worth it. If you are so fortunate to live in an area where there is an existing and thriving birth community, count your blessings and please go hug those pioneers that paved the way. They will appreciate it more than you know.

Cindy Collins is a native of the San Francisco Bay area but now resides in Delaware with her husband and 3 boys.

Before she became a doula she was a professionally trained baker, holding a degree in baking & pastry. In addition to being a doula she volunteers as the chapter leader for the Delaware Birth Network. She is also an herbalist studying dually with Heart of Herbs with Demetria Clark and Herbal Medicine for Women with Aviva Romm.

Cindy is also a professional photographer who specializes in maternity, birth and nursing portraiture. For more information she can be reached at euphoricbirth.com and euphoricherbals.com

 

 

standard

Meet the Doula- Heather Keeney

  • Heather Keeney

    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

standard

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.

standard

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

standard

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

padillalogo

standard

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

 

standard

How To Become A More Confident, Busy And Totally Awesome Doula!

How To Become A More Confident, Busy And Totally Awesome Doula!

Just a disclaimer before I start: various things make for an awesome doula – please bear in mind that this article has been designed to help doulas on a professional and business level.

YES! You can be a totally awesome, confident doula with a thriving business! A doula that all your clients rave about… doesn’t that sound great?

No matter if you’re just starting out as a doula or if you’ve been a doula for a while, sometimes we hit professional or emotional plateaus (or even a client drought) where we start to doubt ourselves, are unsure of where things are going or if we’re as experienced as we need to be.

These tips are my top suggestions for doulas in this situation – so if you need a bit of a boost or guidance in getting fired up and super passionate again, help is just a few moments away!

Totally Awesome Doula Tip #1: Read, Read, Read!

Talking in front of others can be a really scary thing for many people. But, you will notice that it is so much easier to give a speech if you really know what you’re talking about. Remember back to your school days – how nerve racking was it researching a topic then having to talk about it?! The more you know your area of expertise, the easier it gets and the more confident you get. The less you need to refer back to your notes and the more you can hit the ground running without breaking out a sweat.

You can never know enough or learn enough, no matter what you choose do in life, so feed your brain with books, workshops and classes. Schedule some regular time – each day if you can – to read a new book on birth related topics.

Wealth and success isn’t a big screen television or a really fast car… wealth is in your library. Many very successful business people will tell you that one of their biggest secrets to success is to feed their brain every day. You may have heard of the story of Warren Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest men (THE world’s wealthiest man some years). He wanted to become a business success, and decided he had to learn about finance. What did he do? He read every single book in the Omaha Public Library with the word ‘finance’ in the title – some twice… when he was 10 years old!!!

Warren Buffett is clearly a huge success with his chosen passion and you can be too. It’s never too early or too late – if you get reading, your confidence, knowledge and credibility will thank you for it!

“Think of something new you’ve actually learned in the past week; if you can’t think of anything, get comfortable where you’re at because you’re not going anywhere. To stop learning is to stop living.” — Robert Kiyosaki

Totally Awesome Doula Tip #2: Grow Yourself As A Person And Business Owner

You will only go as far as you develop yourself as a person and a business owner. Following on from the first tip above, its equally important to focus on learning about personal and business growth and development.

Read autobiographies of successful business people and entrepreneurs, like Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs – you may not agree with the business decisions or choices of some of these people, or may not want to be as busy or famous, but it will get you an insight into the mind and thinking of highly successful people. You’ll learn how they got to where they are now. You’ll read about their attitudes and philosophies – the mindsets that are required to make it. You’ll find successful people have similar habits, which you can adopt too.

Not only are there many brilliant business books out there, but an endless number of seminars for personal and professional development, which I LOVE going to. You meet people who are movers and shakers just like you. Great people who are friendly, keen to network and learn. People with passion and guts. You know the saying about becoming like the people you spend most of your time with? The people around you can either motivate, encourage and uplift you, or they can keep you in the wrong place or chasing your tail. You must be willing to grow your comfort zone, and trust me, you’ll have an absolute ball learning and growing!

“You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay?” — Jim Rohn

Here are some Facebook pages of some great leaders to follow:

Here are some great business books to read:

You Can Purchase These Books From…

There are many more resources, but these are a great start.

Totally Awesome Doula Tip #3: Network With Other Doulas

The doula world is such an awesome place to be. Doulas share your passion of birth and would happily talk birth all day (and night!). Not only is this great for you socially, but you can gain a wealth of experience from other doulas. Ask questions, hear their stories of births, share… there is so much to be learnt from other doulas. Start up a group and have a regular meet-up, or find out if there are any in your area – just do it! Try and get involved with other doulas, and make an effort to learn and share together. You’ll leave feeling awesome and loved up, overflowing with oxytocin and food for your birth junkie soul. Local doulas may even be able to team up with you to help out with childcare while you’re doula’ing or even forming a business together!

I can’t imagine any nicer people to spend your time with than other doulas – you’ll be sure to make many friendships along the way! You also get to know them well enough in case you happen to need a back-up or just some great advice one day.

Totally Awesome Doula Tip #4: Open Your Mind And Believe In Yourself

I know doulas can sometimes doubt their abilities, usually due to one or more of these three things:

  • They’re unable to get the number of births they want
  • A birth they attended went awol
  • They’ve had an unhappy client

These things happen. No matter what business you’re in, you will get unhappy clients, births will go in a direction that we didn’t expect, and you’ll have to deal with unpleasant situations sometimes. But never stop believing in yourself, because this is all part of the learning process – see it as an opportunity to grow. If we don’t have challenging experiences, then we don’t grow or learn. Its when we resist and take it personally, we can’t see what we need to see. Its important to stand back, look at the situation and say, ‘What could I have done differently here?’ or ‘What can I learn from this situation?’ or, ‘Is there something I need to learn more about?’ Feeling crappy about it all and giving up is just going to make you, well, feel like crap. And you wont get to where you truly want to go.

Remember, nothing prepares you for anything in life quite like hands-on experience does. If you always consider yourself a student, learning every single day, you’ll feel much better about yourself and have a great attitude that will move you forward.

A successful business owner in any given field knows to expect plateaus. Business will be going well, growing, growing… then a crisis will hit, business will slow down, or something will happen to cause you to question it all. But, instead of giving up, feeling hopeless, useless – the successful business owner keeps working through it until they get to the other side. If you give up when it’s tough, you don’t get the huge rewards of getting through a tough spot and come out fine the other end – usually quicker and easier than you initially envisioned and you’re back on track once again.

I’ve had experiences where something awful has happened in my business, usually I have been attacked for my beliefs and stances and had to deal with really nasty comments or feedback. These sorts of situations can really rock you to the core – sometimes and you wonder how you’ll get through the next day with it hanging over your head. I’ve had fantasies of just deleting BellyBelly off the server in my earlier days – in my grumpy head I would think, ‘Fine, you don’t like it, see what it’s like when it’s all gone!’ which was all so easy to think in my early 20’s as a new mother who was very sleep deprived and with PND! But, every single make or break moment is all in the past now, gone, forgotten and something valuable learnt from, and thank goodness I didn’t give up, as today BellyBelly is busier than it has ever been, with close to two million page views a month. I can work from home with my babies, the hours that fit in with my lifestyle and I get to do what I truly, deeply love. Don’t give up on your dreams just for one sticky moment. You can get through every single one of them! And doing that makes you a much more confident business owner.

Totally Awesome Doula Tip #5: Find Your Niche

What makes you different from all the other doulas out there? A woman looking through a directory full of doulas will read the same thing over and over…

  • “I believe in supporting women”
  • “I became a doula in xxx after the birth of my children xxx”
  • “I am passionate about birth”
  • “Feel empowered about your birth”

… but what makes you any different to any other doula? Why should they choose you, with a smorgasboard of choices? Whats in it for them? What experiences can you draw on to make you different?

Something you might think is small may be the difference between you being chosen over another doula. In a recent coaching call I did with a Sydney based doula, I helped her realise that her own experience as a twin mother having a natural birth is a fantastic draw card and speciality for her to focus on. While twin births aren’t as high in number, she has a distinct advantage over other doulas, being able to understand exactly what they are going through, carrying and birthing twins.

Totally Awesome Doula Tip #6: Focus On What You Do Best – Let A Skilled Team Do The Rest

Any highly successful business owner – even Richard Branson – will tell you, he comes up with the amazing ideas and then steps aside for people who know what they’re doing best.

Many doulas have shoestring budgets (hopefully not for long after adopting some of my tips in my doula articles!) which means its harder to pay for what they really need for their business, for example a professional web designer, marketing or advertising.

If you do things on the cheap, or have unskilled people doing important things for your business, your results will reflect this. I know it’s really hard if you don’t have any finances when you started up your business, so if you don’t have the funds to have someone help you, check out my other article, 5 Effective Ways To Get More Clients. Then try to make a budget out of each payment to reinvest back into your business, so you’re not always on a such a suffocating, restrictive shoestring budget. Out of every paying client, and/or your own funds, assign a certain amount into your business savings account so you can work towards it.

A business mentor is always a great thing too. This is something successful business people do well – they have mastermind/mentor groups and have business coaches. They learn off one another, and motivate each other based on sound, experienced advice.

If you’re interested in getting one on one business help, I do Skype consultations (no matter where you are in the world) to help with improving business success, increasing website traffic, ranking higher in google, achieving a better marketing response and more. Find out more information here.

Kelly Winder is a birth attendant (aka doula), the creator of BellyBelly and mum to three beautiful children. Follow Kelly on Google+ and become a fan of BellyBelly on Facebook. BellyBelly is also on Twitter. Please note that all of my suggestions and advice are of a generalised nature only and are not intended to replace advice from a qualified professional. BellyBelly.com.au – The Thinking Woman’s Website For Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby. View the original article here.

standard

Meet a BAI Pro 0

Student Spotlight- Sally Faulkner

How long have you been working in the birth field?
My journey towards supporting and educating women in birth began  with my own birth in 2000.  This hospital waterbirth, was, in a single  word, EMPOWERING.  It changed me.  Since then, I have had 2 more  births, both homebirths (one being a waterbirth, the other was was 1  hour start to finish!), each teaching me something else about myself.   It was my last pregnancy and birth in September 2006 that pushed me to  join Birth Arts in training as a birth doula.
 
Do you feel BAI offered you something that was unique? What was it?
Oh, how I ever did my research!  My third pregnancy was a  pivotal moment in my life, and I knew that working with women was what  I was called to do.  I spent most of my pregnancy (and nursing time  afterwards!) researching every possible doula program.  It was Birth  Arts International, with it bold mission statement, its feasible  distance plan (I had just had a baby, you see), it holistic model of  health, that resonated deeply with me.
What was your favorite part of the training?
 I am really starting to get into the “meat” of the program, and  have enjoyed processing every assignment.  Each assignment has really  pushed me where I needed pushing: to look deep into myself to answer  those questions that matter.  I also love that my daughters see me deep  in the learning process, the journey of my own self-discovery,  following this path.  Oh, what grand (and eye-popping) conversations we  have had!
Do you feel that the work Birth Arts requires will or does allow you to               work as an effective doula?
Thus far, I have found that my studies have allowed me a great  deal of reflection and consideration on my own beliefs and  perceptions.  I must face these feelings now, and consider how they  will affect my relationships with potential and working clients. I am  confident in the training and support that I am receiving!
How are you working as a doula now?

I am currently serving as a “doula to my family” while working  through the assignments in my Birth Arts International manual.  I spent  so much time struggling with finding that balance so many speak of,  that balance between family and work.  It was exactly what I needed to  hear (from a Birth Arts trainer!) that by serving my family in the best  way was being a “doula to my family.”  That one statement has made such  a difference in me.  As my youngest grows more independent, and as we  settle into our  new home and learning situation, I am able to move  more quickly through my work and hope to work with women my the end of  the spring!  While I am not currently attending births, I have found  myself supporting women in other ways, helping to build a network of  birth awareness and self-confidence in my community, being that ear,  offering what I can.

 

Tell us about yourself.
For being a homeschooling mother of three, I don’t stay home  much!  As a family, we are deeply rooted learning sustainable living,  in following our call to be good stewards of this earth.  As such, you  are likely to find books around the house on raising a variety of  critters, organic gardening, herbal remedies, and traditional foods (and plenty of Internet links bookmarked!). When we  are not at church, Girl Scouts, Mommy’s meetings or playdates (for all  of us!), you will find us reading, knitting, figuring out some new  craft or art (we have discovered modeling beeswax and dollmaking!),  collecting treasures for gnomes and fairies, or cooking!
Do you have a website?
standard

Doula Trainer- Helena Wu 0

Helena Wu

Helena Wu

Helena Wu is a fabulous BAI trainer. She is a gentle and thoughtful teacher. We are so blessed to have her on our team.

Helena of Moon Mountain Midwifery and Herbal Medicine  is a Licensed Midwife who has   been attending homebirths in the southern Vermont area since 1990. She trained   by apprenticing with different midwives and is a Certified Professional Midwife.   She has been a La Leche League Leader, Childbirth Educator (trained through   ALACE and Cooperative Childbirth Association), Doula and Postpartum Doula. Helena has been a BAI trainer since 2003.

She loves teaching about natural birth. “I am committed to keeping alive the   old ways of being with women, developing our tools (herbs and other natural   therapies, simple ritual, love) and passing along the wisdom.” She is the   owner of Good Medicine Tree, an herbal apothecary, where she   offers products, herbal education courses (Happy Heart Sacred Plant Medicine and others) and health consultations. Fostering humankind’s awareness of their   connection with Nature and Spirit is her passion. She is a member of the Vermont Midwives Alliance, the Midwives Alliance of North America, National   Association of Certified Professional Midwives, United Plant Savers and is on   the Council of the Northeast Herbal Association.