snugglekitty: (doula)
This is relevant to Boston folks.  Tomorrow, the American College of Nurse Midwives is having a free expo at the Hynes' Convention Center, inlcuding a forum on becoming a midwife and a birth film festival.  The film festival will include "The Business of Being Born," "Born in the USA," and "It's My Body, My Baby, My Birth."  If you are having a baby, or if you are interested in the field of birth, it's an event you should not miss.  Did I mention it's free?

You can get more information <a href="http://www.midwife.org/am/women_health_expo.cfm"> here</a>.  Drop me a comment if you want to coordinate a meetup.
snugglekitty: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] abilouise:
a related follow-up question: are you currently taking on new clients?
no, not me.

[livejournal.com profile] clonetwin:
And how do you find clients (or how do they find you)?

Read more... )

That was a short pair of questions, so I may do another one later today. I am so delighted with the quality and number of questions I'm getting asked this year. :)
snugglekitty: (Default)
Again from [livejournal.com profile] clonetwin: "A follow up question - what compelled you to become a doula?"

Read more... )
snugglekitty: (Default)
How many births have you attended?

Read more... )
snugglekitty: (doula)
Today I had a visit from a client of mine from a year and a half ago, and the occaision of the work, a very dear baby.

My cats were thoroughly frightened by the loud, erractically moving midget human.

I, on the other hand, was delighted to have the opportunity to indulge my heathen desire to EAT UNBAPTISED BABIES. She allowed me to nibble her arms, fingers, and nose, and shrieked with laughter when I told her how delicious she was. I also tickled her tummy and the backs of her knees. When I asked her if I could blow on her tummy, she said no. I said, "Thank you for telling me that. You can say yes or no and I respect your boundaries."

Possibly the most adorable part of the day had to do with my skittish cat Suzuki. The baby picked up on Suzuki not wanting to interact with her, which, of course, made her even more interested. Her mom explained a few times that Suzu was "just feeling a little shy, and needs her space." The lovely baby then curled up in mom's lap, saying, "I'm feeling a little shy." Mom said, "Okay, it's okay to feel shy and you can take as much time as you need to be comfortable." She was trying to empathize with the cat! So adorable.

I was there when that little person started! It's hard to believe it, now that she's so independent and has such a strong personality.

I really love my job.
snugglekitty: (doula)
So I think everyone who reads this journal knows that I'm a birth assistant - not a midwife, but an emotional support person for birth. I tell people sometimes that I'm a professional handholder, which is not far from the truth. What I suspect that some or even most of you don't know is that I am only one birth away from getting certified in this profession. This is an ideal circumstance for clients who might want my services - I have five births worth of experience, but I have not raised my rates as a certified doula.

Anyway. I've been thinking that this winter would be a wonderful time for me to do the books, papers, studying and examination aspect of certification, but it would be great to do that last birth beforehand. At the same time, I don't want to put up a gazillion flyers and get inundated with clients when I only need one more before I move into a different part of the process. So I'm asking you, all you lovely people who read my journal, to think about anyone you might know in the Boston area who is expecting a baby in the next few months and might be able to use a little extra support with the pregnancy and birth process. It could be a friend, colleague, sweetie of a sweetie, or cousin. If you think I might be a good fit for them, mention my name, or the idea of a doula, and see what happens. I would be happy to give a 10% discount to anyone who contacts me as a result of this post before December, and would find a way to show my gratitude to the referring party as well.

I don't generally use this journal for self-promotion, nor do I plan to do so more often in the future - this is kind of a special situation. Let me know if you think of anyone and I will surely appreciate it. You can also find more information about my work at http://www.uniquebirth.com.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled book reviews and food posts.
snugglekitty: (Default)
So, I spent about a month slogging my way through Birth As An American Rite of Passage. This was a book on my doula certification list. I found it very difficult to read, chiefly because it was upsetting, but also in part because it was very dense and academic. In general, I haven't read many academic books since college.

The book, essentially, is about the way that hospital birth functions as an act of ritual in our society. It is written from the perspective of symbolic anthropology, which is a philosophy that believes that the things that we do have ritual purpose within our society. In other words, where some people would say that "routine procedures" that have been shown to be ineffective or even harmful are done because of liability, or because of a lag between theory and practice, symbolic anthropology and Robbie Davis-Floyd would argue that we have a deeper, meaning-based reason for continuing to do them. That routine interventions emphasize the power of technology and the institution while devaluing the power of nature and woman, and that witnessing these interventions reinforces those messages for all present. I'm simplifying a lot here, but I recommend that you read this book if you have an interest in birth (although I don't recommend it if you're pregnant right now. Yikes!). The argument is very convincing.

I can see why this book is required reading, but there were times when it made me wonder why I had become a doula in the first place. :( The deck is stacked against those who want natural birth. I've known it all along, but this made it really clear and concrete.

Despite the fact that I didn't enjoy it, I'd give this book five stars. It brought my understanding of how birth works in the US to a whole new level.
snugglekitty: (Default)
For those who are expecting, or interested in learning more about what I do, this event looks really neat and it's free! I may be there if I feel up to the people-ness.

Read more... )
snugglekitty: (Default)
- Being on call takes some getting used to. I'm getting a lot better at carrying my cell phone with me, but still need to remember to bring my "little kit" in case I get a call while I'm away from home. No difficulty remembering not to have more than one drink, though, or not to go more than an hour away from home.

- I'm trying to find a new backup for the fall, since my current backup is going back to school. It's a little challenging so far.

- It's hard being the most reliable person in terms of calling people back, etc. I'm worried that I don't know enough about my current client, who could go into labor any minute now, because we haven't had all that much contact.

- I need to spend some more time thinking about when I offer my services as a volunteer. I am volunteering for an upcoming birth. So far I have just taken people at face value when they say they need a volunteer doula. However, this upcoming mom has been mentioning interviewing nannies and her son being in private school. I charge very little - only trying to recoup my costs - and I feel a bit taken advantage of. I'll be there for her, because I said I would, but I think in the future I'm at least going to ask, "Why do you need a volunteer?" and be more agressive about asking for some barter if they really can't pay.

- Yesterday I found two used books that pertain to my job. One is Creating a Joyful Birth Experience, which I requested via ILL at the library a few weeks ago. The other is an awesome book on cosleeping called Good Nights. That made me happy. I want to spend some more time cruising used bookstores to see if I get lucky again.

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