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