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Volunteer doulas

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Doulas who attended births as volunteers for BirthWell Partners can share their stories here.

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  1. Erin Johns

    I have done two births so far! The first one was special b/c I know the teen mom soaked up what I told her and really wanted what was best for her baby! She and I got to meet before the birth and even got to talk a few times on the phone, so we had a “relationship” by the time of the birth. Her mom did not really want to be part of the birth, so she really needed a doula! for my Birthday she commented on my facebook page “happy birthday my doula” Such an awesome feeling knowing you impacted someone so young! My biggest accomplishment with her was breastfeeding. She did not know much about it and was not planning on breastfeeding. The baby’s dad’s mom kept telling her to give the baby a bottle. That the baby did not want her boob. When I did my postnatal visit, she was still breastfeeding 🙂 THAT MADE MY DAY!!!

    My second teen mom had an amazing support system with her family! I bet there were 20 women in that delivery room! But when I walked in, they welcomed me with open arms. They TRUSTED me! I gave them facts to questions they had and they all felt empowered. That teen mom was so strong, and I did not feel I was doing her any good, until the baby was born and she looked over at me with teary eyes and said “Thank you” in her sweet innocent voice. Her family thanked me over and over. It was such an amazing feeling! Each birth was different, but both moms told me they were very thankful to have a doula attending their birth. I love to do volunteer work, and I love babies! This is the best job anyone could have! And when you get to see that baby that you helped deliver, you have instant gratification!

  2. Dalia

    I met with a mom expecting her fourth baby yesterday. She is living at a halfway house, and BirthWell Partners has arranged for me to be her volunteer doula. She hopes to breastfeed this baby, and to mother him the way she didn’t/couldn’t with her other three. As we spoke I was amazed by her strength as she works to do the right thing for this baby. I was also amazed at how alone she is. I will be the only person who stays with her throughout her birth. When I rubbed her shoulders to show her what I could do to help her during labor, she said she had never had anyone massage her before.
    It’s such a simple thing to support a women and show her love. And it has the potential to do so much for her and the baby she is carrying.

  3. Kate Hogeland

    I did a birth with an amazing 16 year old mother. I met with her and her mother a few times before the birth and also went with her to a natural childbirth class. We spoke on the phone several times before the birth as well. I genuinely liked her and was really excited to attend her birth.

    When it was time for her Birth Day, we were all ready and full of excitement. It was a beautiful experience that I was honored to be a part of. She was amazing. She also breastfeed her daughter, which was awesome. At our postpartum visit she was doing really well. She has stayed in school and is balancing that with motherhood. I am so impressed with this young woman.

    We have stayed in touch and spoken on the phone several times since. I feel that this experience and this mother have enriched my life. I am very honored to have been a part of this. I look forward to doing another teen birth again in the future.

  4. Jill Jones

    Volunteering as a BWP doula has been a life-changing experience for me. I have served as a doula in six BWP volunteer births, I have two more BWP clients and my first private client due soon, and I also was the doula for a fellow doula sister whom I met in my own DONA training with BWP. I became a doula so I could help women to find their voices and feel empowered in their birth experiences. My first doula birth really stands out to me. I will never forget the sense of awe and accomplishment on the mother’s face when her baby was placed onto her chest. She looked at me smiling and said, “I did it…. I DID IT.” Her husband and I supported her through a full Pitocin induction with no pain medication. Her calmness and sense of peace in labor was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

    After every birth I talk with each client about her feelings about the birth experience, how she was treated, what made her proud, etc. It’s always a shock to me to hear that they often perceive the tiniest acts of kindness as true labors of love. Something as simple as getting a cold wet rag for a mom who’s feeling a little queasy may not seem like much to a doula, but to that mom who is covered in your care and support and comforting presence, she feels safe, loved, and often even pampered.

  5. Rebekah Teel

    I have been a volunteer doula with Birthwell for almost 2 years now! It is so amazing to be invited in to attend someone’s birth. That is a sacred time, and I am honored that so many women choose to share that time with me. I have been the support person for birthing mom’s in all kinds of situations. Some were typical families with a mom, dad, and children. Others were single moms who didnt have anyone steady to be there with them. Some of theses births were done naturally,some with epidurals or other pain relief, and some have even been scheduled c-sections, all those mothers deserved to have someone there just for them. And I would do it again in a heartbeat!

  6. Jamie Bonfiglio

    Being a BWP doula has been a life-changing experience. I’ve attended two births so far and I’ve learned from both. The first I shadowed another doula and saw how much of an impact it is just holding a mother’s hand. I’ve had moms share very personal parts of their lives with me. The trust that these moms show is humbling and gratifying. I’ve been the cheerleader of reason for a mom who was ready to give up from the pain and exhaustion. Reminding her how strong she is and that she was doing it! The extra support and reassurance is sometimes all a mom needs to go a little farther.
    The second birth experience was also amazing…. [at the end the mother] turned to me and thanked me so much for being there. Almost immediately her fiance did the same. I, in turn, thanked them for allowing me to be a part of it. Being a part of childbirth is a phenomenal experience.

  7. Bethany

    Being a doula is something I have come to love more with each birth I attend. It’s wonderful to be invited into such a pivotal moment in someone’s life and be there the moment it changes forever. Volunteering has its ups and downs; we invest so much in the moms we care for, but the return on investment is incredible. I will never forget when one of my clients was so inspired by her experience that she asked me how she could become a doula. She decided that’s what she wanted to do with her life. That moment has impacted me the most to this day! I am so glad I get the opportunity to serve and share my passion with these women!

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