"How'd you get into doula work?" This is one of my favorite questions to be asked during consultations with potential clients. I usually start with sharing my background story, and then I really hone in on my why. Why am I committed to this work? What keeps me going when things get hard? Why do I love it? I talked with a client last week about her birth. It was very long and hard and plans changed from what we originally discussed. After a roller coaster of an experience though, she still said she just felt so empowered through the process. That word empowerment makes my doula heart so happy. I can’t think of better words to hear from a client after birth. Empowerment= the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights. This is a huge part of why I feel drawn to this work. And, let me be clear... empowerment is not something I'm giving you or creating for you. Birthing folks, you all are the ones doing the work to empower yourself. You're doing the research, taking the deep breaths, building a relationship with your provider, partner, and baby. You all are the ones who labor for hours, and sometimes days, you give birth, and you make decisions that impact your experience. I simply walk alongside you through all of this. I am a companion for journey, and your empowerment is not about me. I believe that when someone feels empowered through their birth, they get to take that strength and confidence into the rest of their existence. I believe empowerment can impact how a person parents, how that child grows up, and how that person exists as a partner, daughter, sister, friend, and more. There are few experiences in life that truly transform a person, and I'd say childbirth is one of the most transformational experiences we encounter. Being a doula allows me to educate people on their options, to show up in vulnerable and intimate moments, and to be a strong, safe, and reassuring presence during this beautiful time period of change and growth.
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