Exclusive interview with actress, muse and birth doula Carson Meyer
Could you describe yourself in one sentence?
Reliable, sensitive and strong, with a passion for creating and connection in a meaningful way
What was your childhood like?
I grew up in a tightknit community in Malibu, California and went to an incredible preschool and kindergarten that taught me to value creativity and community at a young age. I made lifelong friends there who I still speak with almost everyday. I feel very lucky to have incredibly supportive, loving parents who allowed me to be me. At four and a half I became a big sister to my brother Eli. That changed everything for me. It redefined my sense of self and gave me a whole new perspective on unconditional love and responsibility.
Why did you become a doula?
The first time I ever saw footage of live birth was in the documentary “The Business of Being Born”. I watched it as a sophomore at New York University and I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. Up until that moment I had only been exposed to Hollywood’s terrifying portrayal of birth that always seemed to take the power away from the woman and put it into the hands of a male doctor. I was moved to tears by the sheer strength of the female body and the triumphant emotional transformation of the mother. I also cried because I was angry to learn that hospitals were profiting from unnecessary intervention and perpetuating the stigma of birth as an illness. It broke my heart to learn how the medical system has treated women over the past century.
How would you describe your doula “style”?
A mother’s intuition is profound. My style is to create a safe environment where she can access and trust her inner wisdom without feeling judgment.
What is your philosophy about birth?
Like snowflakes, no two births are the same.
How do you most often support women in labor?
Educating women about their choices and helping them to feel prepared is a big part of what I do. In addition to providing advocacy and an array of physical comfort measures, it is important to me to support couples emotionally as well. As a doula, you are invited to be apart of a couple’s most intimate journey. With that privilege comes the role of holding space for the couple and supporting them as they give birth to a whole new identity as parents.
Have you ever given birth, and, if so, did your birth experience inspire you to be a doula?
Not yet. I am 24 years old. I find that most people are surprised to learn that I have this passion at a young age. When I first became a doula I felt insecure about the fact that I would be giving advice and guidance to women who were going through something that I myself had not gone through. At the end of the day this job isn’t about me. Everybody’s journey is so different. Even if I had given birth 50 times, it is not my place as a doula to project my own experience onto others. It is about them, what they are going through and how I can be there to meet their unique needs. Becoming a doula has provided we with a great understanding of birth from a totally different angle.
What coping techniques do you find most helpful?
I have found that a laboring woman copes best with pain when she is able to access rhythm in her breath and body. Sometimes this means being able to have full mobility to try different positions and sometimes the use of sound or even swaying is enough. There is no doubt that a relaxing environment with the feeling of safety and support is crucial wherever one choses to birth. I really believe that fear makes the sensation of pain more intense.
Do you offer other services?
Yes! I also offer Post Partum support as a doula. This includes a few hours of anything from a foot massage and a good talk to meal preparation and baby care. Some call it Mothering the Mother. The post partum period is a time when so much care and attention is directed towards the new life that often times mothers and fathers neglect their own self-care. I love cooking soups for my clients from the book The First Forty Days.
I am also a trained Full Spectrum Doula offering support to women and families experiencing planned and unplanned pregnancy loss.
Describe the word mother in your own words:
A courageous being whose chosen path of altruism and sleepless nights promises a lifetime of divine love and joy.
Are you a doula full-time?
Yes I am! In addition to working as a doula, I am developing a clean body product line, C & The Moon, that’s launching this summer. I also work as an actor. Balancing these jobs can be a challenge at times but I have found they complement each other in more ways than I expected.
Tell us about your acting career?
In college I studied art therapy and the way we can use creativity towards healing. My studies in expressive art forms inspired me to take an acting class. Freshman year I took a class at the Ruskin School and was hooked. I was always around the business side of acting but this class opened up a whole new world for me. Ruskin created an environment for actors where we were able to be completely honest with each other and ourselves. We practiced living in the moment and paying attention to every single sensation each moment brought. He taught us to leave the busy chatter in our minds, the fear, and years of negative talk and focus all of our attention on to our scene partner. When I learned what a doula was it was no surprise to me that I was drawn to both these professions. At the core I believe they utilize a lot of the same tools.
When you get a quiet moment, what do you like to do the most?
Be with my family and spending time in the ocean.
Who is your Mother Muse?
My mom, hands down. She taught me how to appreciate and care for the ultimate mother muse, Earth. She is an incredibly strong woman with the most beautiful outlook on life.
Can you give a quote about Mother Muse coffee books?
Mother Muse is a thoughtful, honest and elegant publication by women for women.
Mother Muse Carson Meyer, Photographer Briana Hicks