|Posted on March 13, 2018 at 12:05 AM|
Let me take you back to where it all began...
Hopefully you have read the blog about where this Doula journey began for me and how I almost quit before I even started. This will save us from traveling too far back allowing us to focus more on where we are today and what the future holds for Professionals and Birthing Families. This particular blog serves as an update (where is Rená, kind of like where's Waldo), but what I also hope will be an encouraging post for those working with families and how the impact of the work that you are currently doing is huge and can lead to so many possibilites, possibilities that you didn't know existed.
For 16 years I have had the philosophy of "serving one family/student" at a time, that would equal about 3-5 clients and about 10-30 students per month. I would do my best to give them the most unconditional love and support that I could while I was with them. I enjoyed this philosophy for a very long time. In the beginning of 2017 I was focused on what my word for the year would be and it came to me "ABUNDANCE". I would no longer settle for what was, but on what could be!
Having served my community in a volunteer position for over 13 years, I also volunteered for clients throughout the year, I accepted WOC scholarships for students in my Doula trainings, because I want to make Doula services available for anyone who wanted/needed it. I could help Doulas to help even more families... they could then focus on "one client at a time", then those families would tell their circle of friends and they too would have that care they desired and eventually hundreds of thousands of families would be supported. This was abundant, right?
Yes in my current thinking, but NO not in my future thinking! I had no idea there were so many layers to this abundance, what began to unfold was never on my radar, I didn't know it was even possible.
Then it was! I began also serving an extension of the community and fostering relationships beyond what I thought was my core target. No longer was this community limited to clients, students and other Doulas, it stretched far beyond that. I was asked to begin sitting in on hospital administration meetings, I was representing the voice of families who for all these years entrusted their desires for childbirth with me. I was representing Doulas who have walked before, alongside and those that will come after me. I was being the voice for what the evidence showed and what this community had been practicing for years. I was so incredibly proud of those who invited me to be apart of this discussion - they too were working toward building bridges for better birth outcomes. They are leaders amongst their peers.
During this time I trained half of their Nursing staff. These Nurses gained knowledge to provide extra support at the bedside, so now the whole facility is working for these families, it has become a cohesive team. They became dedicated to decreasing their c-section rates, induction rates, episiotomy rates. They started incorporating a safe environment for patience, they started using inclusive language and they continue to build their services.
Then it happened, I learned what abundance meant at this point in my life... it meant that there was a way to serve more families at one time! It also meant not just families, but also the professionals who support these families would be served.
How? I was given an opportunity to join a fantastic team at Providence Little Company of Mary in Torrance. We have contracted together for one year and during this time some incredible changes will occur as a group effort that will not only benefit the families that birth there but also the professionals that provide services to these families.
IMAGINE for just a moment, as a birthing person you have someone personally reach out to you at your request, she provides you with individual guidance based on your vision for the birth, they learn about Doulas, a Doula referral is made if they want the benefits of that support, she answers all your questions and builds a relationship with you and then she communicates with the staff who then are expecting you on your big day, they greet you with familiarity and compassion. Yes, all families can have this now!
Further IMAGINE that you are a Doula or a Midwife, you are coming in with a client and you want, better yet you NEED someone who can meet you with a hug, a cup of coffee or a listening ear and that person can further help you while you help your client. The Nurses can be brought up to speed before you even arrive and your client is supported throughout their time there!
These things will be my focus as the OB Care Coordinator. We are currently working on revamping the Childbirth Education (that they receive in class, at the Care Providers office, when they come in for NST's and during postpartum). This is an exciting time and Little Company of Mary is paving the way for other facilities to follow. They are hearing what families want and they are responding in such a positive way. They now offer breastfeeding clinic to walk in patients twice a week, every week.
https://youtu.be/y9Q-o2Ioxkw" target="_blank">Can you feel the excitement? (click here to watch a video that I did in my car before I agreed to this position)
In July 2017 I also accepted a position with Dr. Harvey Karp at Happiest Baby as their Director of Education. Having been an instructor almost 13 years it was an easy transition. This has allowed me to once again bridge any gaps between the Doula community and the amazing program that many of us have implemented into our own practices, should baby need it.
It is so important to remain professional and foster relations with not only your clients but other professionals that you are lucky to interact with, you never know how that kind of respect can lead to a position that could could be so impactful. It's an honor to be working in this capacity. This experience will allow me to continue to grow as an individual and a boss lady... the possibilities are endless as a Doula! ✨