on training to be a doula

It’s official: I’m going to be a doula! I signed up for a DONA certified doula training that will take place this spring. Several years ago, I began training to be a yoga instructor. In a few years, I earned my RYT 200 with YogaFit and taught yoga 4-5 days a week for four years during my PhD. I gained a lot of experience during that time and found that I absolutely love to teach yoga. I see being a doula as a natural extension of that practice.

Flickr image by Henna Sooq

Here are some of my early thoughts on the topic:

1)  Yoga practice and doula work are connected. My approach toward being a doula is inspired by my yoga philosophy and practice. Part way through my yoga training, I took a teacher training in pre/postnatal yoga. That training inspired me to consider a doula training because I saw it as an extension of teaching yoga, which is all about helping people connect to their bodies in empowering ways.

2)  Working to empower women. Part of my philosophy about doula work comes from the observation that childbirth is a process that has the potential to be incredibly empowering for women. Providing support for women during childbirth seems like a tangible way to help women access that power during childbirth.

3)  I’m a feminist. Because modern western medicine is mired in patriarchy and sexism, women are far more likely to feel disempowered by their birth experience. Birth doulas work to give women more power in their birth settling, and that’s something I support.

As of right now, I don’t know if I’ll like it, I don’t know if I’ll be good at it, and I don’t know that I’ll have the stamina for it (more on all of that later). I don’t even know that I’ll start doing the work any time soon. But, like yoga, I have a sense that this is the right move for me, even if I am not sure exactly why. I’m taking a step in that direction based on the inkling that it’s the right direction for me.

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