Can you tell me briefly about the work you do? What led you to become a doula?
I’m a full spectrum doula, meaning I am trained to care for people through all phases of conception, including abortion. Primarily I help people through birth and postpartum, though. I am just getting into more of the fertility doula practice while I try for a baby myself.
I can’t fully say what led me to doula work, as I just heard the word one day and said, “what’s that?” A quick google search, and I was hooked! I can’t even remember who said ‘doula’ or where I was when I heard it. I started listening to birth podcasts and quickly became passionate about inclusive birth work. From there, I did some pieces of training, found a couple of amazing mentors, and got to work!
What does your doula work look like? Do you go into hospitals a lot? Do you do home births?
It looks like whatever my clients have needed. We meet in the third trimester. I visit their home a few times, get to know them and their birth wishes, and educate them on any gaps that need filling in. From there, we touch base often about appointments and worries or stressors as they arise. Once they feel they are in labour, we keep closer contact until they are ready for me to join them. Once I join them, I usually don’t leave until a baby is born and the first feed is well underway, which is all so personal.
I’ve attended mostly hospital births but also some home births. I’m hoping to attend more home births and free births in the future.
Personally, while trying to conceive, I’ve stepped away from attending so many births and have focused on postpartum care. There is something I find almost more personal about being welcomed into a family’s fourth trimester. That’s when things get very real. Babies are such a learning curve for many people, especially the more time you’ve spent as an individual away from babies and children. Being invited to join people as they navigate the first months of parenthood is really a blessing. I’m always in awe to receive.
Can you speak on the importance of mentorship? Who are some important figures in your journey or role models you look up to?
This is a major factor, in my opinion, to whether you succeed and form a healthy bond with birth work. Having community members to fall back on after birth (especially traumatic births) really makes all the difference in your practice.
I have had a few people I’d consider mentors who put their trust and time in me from the start, which has helped me gain my footing and confidence as a birth worker. And I will say some of these mentors even came from Instagram. And are still people I turn to for education and advice in this work.
You’re incredibly passionate about young motherhood by choice. Can you dive into that with us?
I was born from a young mother (20 years old), while my lifelong best friend was born from an older (at the time) mother (40 years old). This juxtaposition my entire life has taught me there is no “right way” or “right time” to become a mother.
Listening to yourself is so important when choosing your timing to become a parent. I’ve seen both sides of the coin, and for me, motherhood has always been something I’ve yearned for. I don’t feel the need to postpone just because we’re at a time where society cautions us to; I want to have the privilege of time and relatability with my children while others prioritize wisdom and monetary stability. Both are so important. Neither is right or wrong.
I am also learning through the process that not everyone has the privilege to choose their timing. So, I try not to fixate too much on it. Had it all gone according to the timing I’d hoped for, I’d currently be entering my third trimester! My mother is my best friend, though, and knowing it’s going to be basically until the bitter end for both of us is a type of comfort that cannot be replaced!
You and your partner are trying to conceive how is that journey thus far?
I wrote about this for the Bunky Bambino Blog, so if anyone needs a raw account of conception, check that out!
But so far, it is one of the most challenging and intense things I have ever put myself through, both mentally and physically. As someone who was a “happy accident,” I don’t have anyone in my family to relate to when choosing your time. My partner was also a surprise, so it’s the same on his side of the family.
Because I’m so young, none of my other good friends are at this place yet in their journey, and so I have no one close to me to talk with it about. I’ve been thankful for my online community, which has quickly become a part of this journey, but it is super isolating and lonely, which is probably hitting even harder after this lonely year we’ve all been through.
What do you like most about Bravado Design?
I love the simple fit and the style. It’s a very modern and cute way of doing maternity wear.
How would you describe the bras; are they easy to navigate, comfortable, feminine?
I love the sports bra look that pulls overhead yet is totally feeding friendly. I am not a bra person, so thinking about bras for breastfeeding has always stressed me out. These feel comfortable and easy. Even the ones with the classic bra back strap are still comfy since they’re seamless.
I also want to note the full coverage, which is very important for breast/chestfeeding. It would help if you didn’t have anything digging into the breast (the way a typical bra would fit), as it can cause blocked ducts and whatnot. So that’s a technical component that’s great!
Lastly, who is your Mother Muse?
Am I allowed to say you???
Ok, well, you’re one of them.
If I had to choose someone else, though, it would be Alyssa Garrison, in the Instagram/blogging world. She is really who lit a fire in me to have my kids when I wanted them, even if that was before thirty and without working for a big corporation or having benefits and all those things you’re “supposed” to have.
I relate to her in a lot of ways … both queers who are both very tattooed and opinionated … both not necessarily people you’d assume were pining for kids every second of their adults’ lives. Haha.
She self-inseminated a couple of years back and became a single mom by choice, and I literally cried every time she’d post. I just felt so inspired by that act. Overall, she’s just one of the coolest people I’ve encountered doing motherhood, and I’m so glad she is now also someone I consider a friend!!