On the weekend of February 26th to the 28th, 2021, I attended my Birth Doula certification course, instructed by Jeannie Baron in Chanhassen, MN. The training was a culmination of months of my own individual work in educating myself through reading, interviewing midwives and doulas in my community, and researching the role and efficacy of doulas before, during, and after labor. I learned, in person, all of the techniques that I had been reading and watching videos about for months. These techniques include comfort measures such as the use of a rebozo before and during labor to relieve lower back pain for the birther and aid in favorable positioning of the baby inside mama's tummy, massage and meditation techniques, the use of hydrotherapy during labor, stretches and exercises the birther can do before and during labor to relieve pain, and much more. We learned breathing techniques and ways to employ the three R's - relaxation, rhythm, and ritual. We also received a certification in Child Birth Education! It was amazing to share space with 22 other passionate women who's goals are so aligned with my own. They shared many of their birth experiences, some so tender and beautiful, others full of trauma. Simply supporting each other through talking about birth stories and what has led us each to become doulas was a practice in emotional support itself. After hearing so many stories where these women were unsupported during their labors, my desires to be a doula were reaffirmed. There is so much that is left out in the "standard" medical procedural way of birthing. Although doctors and nurses do have our best intentions at heart, it simply is not feasible for them to provide each and every birther and their partners the full scope of care that so many of us do need, nor is it in their scope of practice. That is why having a doula to guide you, uphold your wishes and opinions during the birth, to comfort you, and relieve partners when they are tired, helps so much! During this enriching training I learned evidence based information about all of the common (and some not so common) interventions that have the potential to occur during birth/ labor. My goal is to provide you with unbiased information about the benefits, risks and alternatives to each of these interventions. Going in educated ahead of time is vital to the fulfillment of your desired birth outcome. After spending 30 hours over the course of three days with Jeannie and my fellow doulas in training, I received my certification. I am now able to provide prenatal, labor, and postpartum support to birthers everywhere! This is just the beginning of a journey that I look forward to with great hope. I hope to be able to combine my natural caregiving character with informed and trusted methods to improve the lives of many people. Thank you for being here with me on this journey!
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