(Do you know how hard it is to find a picture of these things? My goodness! No wonder I didn’t know what they looked like before :PÂ Almost all of the pictures contain the end that the mother sees.Â Very few show the part that the baby feels.)
Last weekend I had the great privilege of attending an ALACE/toLabor birth doula training.Â It was such an empowering experience.Â In many ways it gave me confidence in my self-study abilities, and in other ways it was a great reminder of the benefits of group and experiential learning.Â The hands-on parts of the workshop were wonderful.Â I really loved them.
One of the great things about the workshop was the way that we covered all of the major interventions and the pros/cons of each.Â The many lessons learned during my births, as well as my reading, had given me a great foundation, but it was so interesting to get to touch and explore the different pieces of equipment that are used in most hospital births.Â It is very different to look at it from that perspective.Â My other experiences included me being in labor, so obviously its not like I had the chance to investigate each piece of equipment.
I was surprised to feel a flood of emotions during one part of the training.Â It happened when we passed around the internal fetal monitor.Â I knew (in my head) that it attached to the baby’s scalp.Â I knew that it could cause permanent damage, according to the nurses who were at my son’s birth.Â I knew a lot in theory.Â Holding it in my hands and touching the screw that goes into the baby’s scalp was a whole different thing.Â It really struck me in a way that I did not expect.Â I did not expect this to be the thing that would make me emotional.Â I spent the rest of the weekend thinking on-and-off about that stupid screw.
I am so thankful that I had this experience during the training, rather than on-the-job as a doula.Â I can’t imagine if I was trying to process through my own feelings about this WHILE trying to support a mom.Â I am so thankful for the healing that has been able to come in the past week.Â I didn’t realize that I had an area that still needed healing, but it was so great to be able to talk to my husband and friends about this. I’d really hate to bring any emotional baggage into it with a client, so I truly appreciate that I’ve been able to think about it in a safe space.
Before I decided to go with ALACE, I was seriously considering a correspondence-only course for my doula work.Â I felt so sure about my ability to self-study that I thought that a workshop might just be boring.Â I really think I underestimated the value of being able to share, interact, and experience with other women as you learn about birth.Â This weekend has made me such a believer in this type of learning, even for those of us who do not qualify as kinesthetic learners.Â I really think that the moms that I serve will benefit from many of the things that I was able to process through this weekend…Â Not to mention the fact that I don’t think my husband would’ve wanted to attempt re-enacting labor positions with me as the support person and him as the laboring woman, LOL!
I still plan on doing a correspondence course to become a childbirth educator.Â I think there is so much value in that kind of learning.Â I am not bashing those courses at all.Â I was just surprised at how much I enjoyed the group learning experience that came with the workshopÂ 🙂
P.S.Â I am now officially a Professional Doula.Â I hope to be launching a new website soon for my business, but I’m kind of backlogged on website work, so I’m at the back of my own line. I’ll post when its up!