“Do I Need a Doula on My Birth Team?”

May 15, 2020

What is a birth doula?

 In short- someone who is there to be your advocate, support system, cheerleader, and educator to empower you through one of the greatest transitions in life. Equipping your birth team with a doula can be immensely beneficial to help ease and guide you through the emotional roller coaster that is birth. 

Meet Elizabeth Clark! She is a birth doula here in Long Beach, Ca and was kind enough to discuss some of the most common questions around doulas and whether or not having a doula on your birth team is the right fit for you, even in the midst of a pandemic. 

Working alongside doulas is something I LOVE when caring for mamas, as they provide a greater depth of certainty and support which allows chiropractic care to truly support them and their growing little to the greatest potential ( psst.. check out number 8).  

“ Giving birth should be your greatest achievement, not your greatest fear”.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself! What inspired you to become a doula and how did you get started? 

I was inspired by my own two birth experiences to become a doula. With my first, I did not have a doula and I wish I did in hindsight. With my second, I did, and I believe the support was invaluable. I found my second birth to be empowering and filled with magic.  I already had begun teaching Prenatal Yoga and adding in birth doula services was an easy addition. My classes were the first starting seeds for my doula practice and then slowly they began to feed each other.

  1. What inspires you in life? 

All these amazing, strong, courageous, mamas I get to work with every day. It is absolutely inspiring to see all these people face something so pivotal and changing as birth and to blossom on the other side. I also will have a cheesy mom moment, and say that my kids inspire me every day. They are so fearless and joyful in how they approach life.

  1. What  aspects of being a doula do you enjoy the most?

This is a tough one! I love helping clients become educated and knowledgeable about the birth experience prior to their birthing time. When birthing people understand what is going to happen to their physical bodies during birth, it helps take away the “scariness” and allows it to focus on the emotional/spiritual transition that goes hand in hand with birth.

  1. What is the biggest benefit of having a doula during pregnancy and postpartum?  
  2. Whoa! Loaded question right here. The biggest benefit is having a highly trained, educated individual there who is there just for YOU. To support you, pick you up, and encourage you to thrive.
  1. When is the best time to start looking for a birth doula? 

Personally, I love it when clients book earlier on so that we have more time to get to know each other and work together. This helps us build our own relationship, so come birthing day, we can really utilize our relationship to the max for support. That said, I’d say try to decide by 36 or 37 weeks so you do have time to build your relationship.

  1. Are there any common misconceptions surrounding Doulas that you would like to clear up? 

I think maybe one misconception is that we are there to replace the partners or to be inserted as a 3rd wheel. We are not. We are there to support the birthing person and their partner, if they have one, in whatever works for both of them.

  1. Who is your typical client and what are some things you do specifically to meet your clients needs? ( what makes you stand out).

I can’t say I have a typical client. I’ve worked with a lot of different folks over the last 3 years. I do specifically love to work with VBAC (vaginal births after cesarean) mamas as I myself am one. I truly am called to this work to support all mamas in ways they way to be supported.

  1. Have you personally helped a client who was also under chiropractic care during pregnancy? If so, what were some things you noticed?

Yes! It’s been amazing to see how mamas can go from having so many of the common pregnancy aches and discomforts to being able to find comfort after an adjustment! As pregnancy moves toward birthing time, there is more and more of the hormone relaxin moving thru mama which makes ALL of her joins looser, not just her hips, and the adjustments and care from a Chiropractor can really help keep mama’s hip even and in alignment for their birth.

  1. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, what are some ways you are pivoting to meet the needs of your clients? 

I am now offering virtual services! I have started offering Zoom Yoga Classes which has been a lot of fun. Each week I offer a variety of prenatal, baby + me, and vinyasa yoga classes. I have two difference packages as a birth doula. One is the “prep only” package where we work together to get you informed, educationed, and working together as a team with your support person. This does not include actual birth day support, but all the set up beforehand. The second package includes birth day support unlimited through virtual support. I have already served several couples as a “virtual doula” and have enjoyed the process. While it is not hands on in the ways I can be, we all felt that it was hugely beneficial.  Hopefully soon, we will be attending again in person.

  1. Where and how can people get in touch with you? 

Hiya! Yes – I love Instagram and am there most days. You can find out more about me, my services, and contact me on my website www.graceandgratitudelife.com

“Breath in grace, exhale gratitude”

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