Ah, winter, how I love thee… I’m a fan of cold gray days, or even better, snow! We had some beautiful snow here in the Triangle a couple of weeks ago. I was off call, with no worries about getting up my neighborhood’s crazy hills. We hunkered down for 3 days and stayed cozy!
Back in September, I started collaborating with a local IBCLC and another doula with the goal of giving doulas the resources for more comprehensive breastfeeding support. I thought it would be a quick project, but the more we dove into it, the more deep it became. We spent weeks brainstorming! Now comes the task of organizing the information into a format that makes sense and doesn’t overwhelm already overwhelmed new parents. It’s exciting work, and I’m learning things that I’m already incorporating into my practice with my clients!
I continue to work as a home birth assistant for Carrboro Midwifery. We just had a beautiful home water birth last week(attended by the wonderful Michelle Rhude, CNM of Bella Donna Birth and Women’s Health who was cross covering for Deb). Carrboro Midwifery will not be taking clients with due dates from April through August of 2018, so that Deb can care for a family member. We pick back up in September(we’re already full for that month!). During her break I’ll be taking a limited number of private doula clients. I’ve decided to keep it low key for the summer, as I’ll be writing a curriculum for Carrboro Midwifery’s first homebirth class for our CM clients and eventually the wider homebirth community. We’ll be offering it June 16, 2018.
My biggest news~ I finally decided who I’d like to certify with as a doula! I had actually kind of given up seeking certification- I’m DONA trained, have a practice size that I love, I take plenty of continuing ed and have a network of birth professionals I work closely with…it became a question of “what could a certification organization offer that is specific to my style of practice as a doula, and would bring the most benefit to the parents I work with and those I hope to work with more?” I found what I needed in Doula Trainings International. DTI’s focus on intentional inclusivity, including specific training to support people of color and the LGBTQIA community, made my heart sing. So I’m ready to plunk down my moolah and jump on in!
We’re moving into fall, one of my favorite seasons! I’m ready for blankets, jammies, and hot things to drink(heading towards fall has also helped dull the pain of no more Game of Thrones for two years). 🙁 😉
Summer of 2017 has been a pretty great season in my doula year. In the last 4 weeks I’ve attended births in hospitals, a birth center and a home water birth. I feel like I have the most interesting and exciting job(so much to learn and do!), although for me, the best part is seeing families feeling great about their birth experiences. Empowered, supported birth experiences help make parents more confident and their families stronger. Doulas make a difference, in more ways than we might sometimes realize.
I’m meeting this week to collaborate with an IBCLC and another doula buddy to work on a more comprehensive handout for my breastfeeding clients. I believe that as a birth and postpartum doula, I can be doing more to help clients succeed in their stated breastfeeding goals. With so much time for interaction, we have such an opportunity to help them have an experience they feel reflects their values and hopes for infant feeding. This should be available to my clients in the coming weeks. I’m really excited!
I’ve also connected recently with another IBCLC(hopefully more info coming soon!) to help teen moms meet their stated breastfeeding goals. As a former teen mom myself, I remember vividly the contradictions and challenges that arose for me and for my baby. Helping ALL parents feel supported and cared for is incredibly important to me.
My other big, new adventure is working as a birth assistant with Deb Fiore, CNM at Carrboro Midwifery . Our first client gave birth in July and is now a happy, healthy 8 week old! Being a birth assistant not only gives me whole new set of skills, it allows me to better understand the birthing process and medical recommendations of care providers. Even though the scope of practice is very different, I have noticed that being a birth assistant has made me a better doula, and vice versa.
My husband and I are looking forward to a couple of days at the beach with friends this weekend. I’m off call for just enough time for a mini vacation and some autumn ocean breezes. I hope you and yours are having a wonderful 2017, and are enjoying the cooler weather as much as I am!