Becoming a Doula

When I was 15 years old, my mom had her sixth and final kid. She had her at home, with a midwife and my dad and I as support. I remember being absolutely AMAZED by it. It was intoxicating and magical and I felt this deep down in my soul. I had no idea what it meant at the time, but fast forward to me living in Philadelphia in my early twenties and meeting a friend who was a doula (a birth assistant providing emotional, physical and educational support to laboring people before during and after birth). I had no idea what that was until meeting her. She gave me "The Doula Book" to feed my interest and finally I could put into words that feeling I had when I was 15. I wanted to be a doula. It took another 10 years to finally put it into action, but in October of 2017 I flew to Albuquerque, NM for a weekend to take my first step towards becoming a Doula. After researching multiple different certifying organizations (The biggest one is here in Seattle, DONA) I decided to go through ToLabor. A few key things stood out to me about this organization. For one, they see birth as a social justice issue, a human right. Every person deserves a safe, supportive birth of their preference. Secondly, they are an evidence based practice. Meaning what they teach and how we're trained is all based on proven theory. Here is a snippet from their website:

After a full weekend of training with the amazing Thérèse Hak-KuhnI was a doula! I have 5 years   to complete the rest of the certification process to become a certified birth doula, but can practice as 
a professional birth doula until then. Certification requires a lot of reading, studying, research, 
compiling of resources, attending and recapping births, attending additional classes and completing a 
"test".  I'm slooowly but surely working on all of that. 

When I found out I was pregnant last year, I knew I wanted a doula at my birth and I was so excited to start 
meeting with them to find "the one". I saw a friend share her doula's info and recommendation on Instagram
(I love the social media community!) and scheduled a time to meet Bekah. She was everything I wanted in a 
doula (and everything I want to be in a doula!) and we were ecstatic to hire her. She came over a few times 
before the birth to get to know us, and our preferences for birth. She came to my baby sprinkle, stopped by 
while I was doing my GBS testing to keep me company, and came with us to a midwife appointment. All 
around she felt like a part of our journey. While we ultimately didn't end up with the birth center birth we 
prepared for, she was there at the hospital with us keeping me on track, comfortable and taken care of once 
he was here. I could not imagine doing that without her. It's like having a professional there with you while 
you do the craziest thing of your life with no prior experience. If you're local to Seattle and giving birth, I 
highly recommend looking her up. Here she is in all her beautiful glory, post birth. (Every photo of that night 
that she is in she is SMILING from ear to ear.) So thankful for Doulas!