Tag Archives: doula training

ouchie

Since I have a full-time job that I love, I don’t want or need to doula to earn a living. Some women do earn a living working as doulas, and that’s great. I think the volunteer doula program at the local hospital is going to be such a good program for me. The volunteer program offers a free service for women who want a doula, but would otherwise not be able to afford a doula. 

Volunteering also works with my schedule. I can sign up to volunteer during days when I know I’ll be available. Even then, I’ve heard that the volunteer doula program is not well-utilized, so I might not be called in very often. I’ll soon find out for myself because I’ve started the process of becoming a volunteer.

One interesting thing about this process is that the doula community tends to be all about no medication/low intervention birth. The thinking is that women’s bodies can give birth. Medication and intervention is rarely needed (but it is needed sometimes and thank goodness we have it). At my doula training, there were even people there who were against vaccinations. I’ve read up on this a bit, and I understand the heated nature of the debate. There is a lot at stake either way.

So, despite the fact that doula culture is often immersed in a culture of no/low medication, in order to volunteer as a doula, I have to get shot full of all kinds of vaccines. I’m being dramatic. Sort of? Thank goodness I’ve already had many of the vaccines and don’t need to do those ones again.

Still, they had to take a blood test to confirm I’ve had chicken pox. I have, but if the immunities are too low, I’ll have to get a shot (boo!). I have to get a flu shot in about a week, which irritates me because I would not doula if I was having flu symptoms, the flu season is almost over, I read that this year’s flu shot was not very accurate, and I have a sense that I’m somehow weakening my immune system by not allowing exposure to these things from time to time (which is unfounded). Today, I to get the tetanus/whooping cough one. I also had to get a TB skin test. Now, that one I understand. 

BLURGH! That’s a lot of toxic, viral matter going into my body! Here’s the thing: I’ve had many of these shots before. It’s nothing new. I’m just incredibly hesitant about the whole process. I wish I didn’t have to get them. But, in the end, I believe in this doula work and believe that the sacrifice of getting several vaccinations is worth it for the work that I’ll be able to do.

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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.