Reaching out and reaching in…

There’s this thing that happens to me every time I’m at a hospital birth. (In a minute, you’ll understand why this doesn’t happen at home births.)

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My birthing couple and I are doing our thing, we’re dancing or resting, or massaging. We’re talking through a particular choice that has to be made… And then the mom in the next room, or down the hall, starts crying or screaming. And the midwives are telling her, quite loudly, what she must do now. And the three of us share this glance. This empathetic, “pregnant” glance that says, “if only she had a doula with her.”

Once, in the waiting area of one particular hospital, my client actually said to me, “Go over to her, Ayelet. See if you can help her.” I did a little work with my rebozo and helped her bring her baby down. Other women in the waiting area asked if I could help them too.

I started, gently, asking them if they had access to a doula or a friend or sister, someone who could be there with them through their birth. I got some very interesting answers, ranging from “What’s a doula?” and “Why would I need a doula if I’m going to get an epidural?” to “I can’t afford a doula.” or “my husband is with my other children and my sister is pregnant with her own baby.” Obviously, I couldn’t get into deep conversations with other women while I was attending my client, but with one or two words, I gave them something to think about for future births, and for discussions with other women.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my contribution to the world. If you know me, you know I dream big. So my thoughts naturally turned to, “How can I get in front of all those moms? How can I get them talking about what birth support would work for them and help them see that a support person can help them even if they’re planning to have an epidural?” But I got stuck. Every spark of an idea that went down those lines fizzled out. And then I had an epiphany. It happened when I got two phone calls in one week. One was from a woman who was asked to attend her friend’s birth. She called to ask my advice on something having to do with her friend. And the second call was from an acupuncturist who had a pregnant client with a particular issue and she called to ask my advice. I realized that I can’t reach all the mommies. But if I could somehow reach the doulas, they could reach so many more moms than I could possibly access on my own! And suddenly the ideas started flowing!

A support network with professional training and skill building workshops, a coaching program to help new and struggling doulas build their doula practices and get confident in their craft, business workshops so doulas can be successful at what they do – so they can keep doing it! I also developed a template for doulas to run outreach and educational events in their own communities, so that more women would be aware of what their local doulas have to offer!

It’s a huge project, it involves so many aspects, and to make it happen, I need your help.

https://www.crowdrise.com/support-all-the-mommies

Over the next few days I will be making some exciting announcements, including ways that you can honor your own doula! So stay tuned! Share the campaign, donate if you can, and help me #SupportAllTheMommies!

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