During my first day of doula training I knew what I wanted to name my new business. I didn’t spend a long time thinking about it; the name just popped into my head. True to my personality, I began to dissect the reasons why that name wasn’t right, and I forced myself to think of other business names.
But I kept coming back to Elevated Birth— or rather, it would not release its foothold on my mind. I listened to my intuition, accepted my new business name, and took the proper steps to make it official.
As I worked to build a website, design marketing materials, and “hang my shingle” so to speak, I chose the following words to explain what I could offer to prospective clients:
“Know your options. Feel supported. Elevate your Birth.”
But what does this really mean? The role of a doula is to educate and support; it's what doulas do.
What these words speak to, is the importance of YOU in our relationship.
Know your Options
I don’t teach childbirth education, not yet anyway— although that is on the horizon. I can help explain different physiological processes in birth and I can provide details on various procedures and interventions.
But when we discuss your options in pregnancy and childbirth, we go a bit deeper. We talk about how you may feel about a particular choice. How does that option align with what is important to you and your partner? What could we try, to avoid or prolong the need for a particular intervention? What kind of discussions could you have with your care provider to negotiate your options? How can you process a change in plans? What does and doesn't work for you?
We also go into detail about how your choices can affect not only the birth process, but also your postpartum experience. Questions arise and they are answered as thoroughly and as personally as you need. Information is tailored to get you through birth so that the needs of you and your partner are met.
Perhaps during our discussions you realize that your priorities and preferences have changed. That happens. Maybe during labor an unexpected situation arises— you have someone in the room to guide you through the decision making process. You know your options so you can decide what is best for you, and with that knowledge comes confidence in your decision making.
Birth is very much a physiological process. But it is just as much an emotional one, and the physical and emotional go hand in hand.
Physical support in labor takes on many forms. Depending on how your birth is going and what your preferences are, I am going to recommend certain positions and environments over others. When there is a change, I’m going to recommend something else. I’m always watching what’s going on, assessing your needs, and thinking of the next step or goal. I’m bringing your partner into the process, or maybe I'm recommending they take a break. You are both supported.
What emotional support looks like to one person is different than what it looks like to another. Some people need more gentleness and some need higher energy. Some need both but at different times. What you may need can also change from one moment to the next. I use the example that I can be rubbing your neck in labor and it is just what you need, and literally the next second it is the last thing on earth you want. It’s okay— you are accepted as you are.
That’s another form of support. I am not judging you; in fact, I’m embracing you! No matter what you choose for yourself, how you birth your baby, how you cope with labor, or how you and your partner interact or don’t— I’m here for you. I’ll help you. And I’m happy to do it.
Elevate your Birth
This has so many meanings. It’s both an action and a result. YOU are the principal player in elevating your birth; I am just the facilitator.
You elevate your birth when you make the effort to prepare for it. Birth is not something that just happens to you. You are giving it the eminence it deserves by educating yourself, surrounding yourself with support, and preparing your own body and mind for it.
Your support team will elevate YOU. Your partner and I will support you as you need, from holding your hands to holding space. We will lift you up so you can be free to let go.
Others will see your birth as elevated. You know what matters to you, so others involved in your birth are more likely to see you as an autonomous being and treat you with the respect you deserve. Your positive birth experience may inspire someone else to fear birth less, or to consider new options or attitudes about birth.
Your birth may elevate the way you see yourself. When you feel positively about your birth, it shows in other areas of your life. You may approach non-birth issues with more strength, grace, and confidence. The way you see yourself as a parent or as a partner can be impacted by the way you see yourself in birth. You can use what you learned in birth to help you in business, interpersonal relationships, with coping skills, and so much more.
Your birth experience is a part of your life’s journey. Choose to elevate it.
I've worked in the forest, in the lab, and in an office cubicle. My favorite and most passionate work has been alongside clients as they reach inside to find their innermost strength, and give birth to their babies. Each birth is an honor to witness.