A lot of this blog is about sharing information that I find that's new or interesting, and not as much about personal doula updates anymore. I used to do a lot more back at the beginning of the blog when I was just starting out. I even posted some or my doula birth stories! But when I got some flack about sharing too much personal information, I sort of stopped.
Also, as I'm in grad school, I don't take on a lot of clients. My semesters have really been ramping up the longer I am in this program, and I just haven't felt like I could handle being on-call. As a result, I don't want to come on here all the time and write about my meetings or births or impressions just in case my professional identity can be linked to this blog, and my clients get upset about something I say on here. Also, because I don't take on a lot of clients, there's less to share in general!
But since I haven't done a personal doula life update (or a "doula journey" post) in a while, I thought I'd take the time to write one down.
I've recently taken on some fabulous clients that are due this summer. One client interviewed and hired me at only 10 weeks gestation! So it has been an interesting experience having a client that long. I worried about the potential for having to go through a miscarriage with her (which thankfully didn't occur), and also about how to keep the relationship over such a long time (I'm used to the meetings all occurring in the last trimester of pregnancy - sometimes even the last month only!). So far it has worked out. I went on a hospital tour with them, so it was great to see them and chat then. She has kept up with e-mailing me with photos of her baby bump, the baby's sex, and lots of questions, so that's been great, too! They also invited me to a baby shower, and we will soon start our prenatal appointments together.
Two additional clients are both due in the same month, so I am glad to have some back up support from my wonderful back-up doula. With the first, the husband seems very concerned that he will have a highly active role to play, that I will just be there to give him reminders of what to do. Until I spelled that out multiple times in several different ways, I didn't see his smile. Dads are always all-business, while moms do most of the talking. My other client is of an older age, and I always find that the older moms who are pregnant for the first time do a LOT of talking. She tells me everything! I think it is really great. She is also delivering at a birth center that I haven't been to, yet, so I'm excited to meet the midwives there and have that experience.
Recently my doula friend who is still certifying asked me if she could shadow me on one of my births. She has already asked the permission of my client and gotten it. I have never had a doula shadow me, and I'm not sure how that will go! I almost don't feel like I'm seasoned enough to provide guidance for a doula-in-training, and I'm wondering how it will change the way I doula. Can anyone give any advice on this?
Once my semester ends I'll be taking a 5-day Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) training. I'm very excited for this, as I've wanted to add additional breastfeeding training to my skill set, and also because I'm hoping it will provide hours for my birth doula re certification requirements with DONA. If you're a DONA doula and you'd like more info on re certification requirements, they recently made a webinar on this topic! Additionally, serving as a preceptor at a birth with a doula-in-training counts as an alternative method to obtain continuing education contact hours!
In other news, I am officially Certified in Public Health, now that I've found out that I passed my CPH Exam!