I completed my toLabor doula training last weekend! 26 hours of intense training packed into two and a half days. I spent the weekend with an incredible instructor and an awesome group of women. For those who don’t know what a “doula” is, the best descriptions I heard during the weekend workshop were educator of birth options, labor assistant, birth activist, advocate for midwifery model of care, and choreographer. The last one means that doulas help mom and partner do the “dance steps” of labor. A doula comes to your home to assist with labor before you go to the hospital or birth center and a doula stays with you throughout labor. They also help the family transition back home. A doula provides several pre-natal visits focused on education about labor and birth. Throughout pregnancy and the post-partum transition period, the doula is a resource of information about labor, birth and breastfeeding.
I was trained with an organization called ToLabor, “The Organization of Labor Assistants for Birth Options and Resources.” Their moto is: “Empowering Families, Honoring Birth, Changing Lives.” You can read more about their teaching philosophy at the toLabor website. When asked why I was attending the weekend workshop, I responded that it was the next logical step after having a natural childbirth experience. Ounce you learn about all the birth options available and the possibilities for women to have the birth experience they deserve you just can’t keep quiet. Becoming a doula is become a voice for change. Doulas are the support, the inspiration, and the resource bringing families home. The workshop I attended was only the beginning. The more I learn, the more I realize there is so much more out there to learn. I feel very privileged to be part of the community of professional doulas but it really applies to everyone. Every family and every baby deserves the chance for their birth experience to be about celebration, transformation, and healing. Now that I’ve made this a part of my life I will be posting information from my research and about the inspiration from serving women and families in my community. I look forward to hearing about your birth experiences!