Madam Blueberry and Brown Bear (my two daughters) and I just returned from three weeks in New Zealand. I was travelling again for doTERRA Diamond Club, the travel program that pays for my flights to teach natural health classes with essential oils in other locations outside of Hawai’i. The trip was amazing. I did 24 classes in 21 days, and it was wild! I would call it a great success. New Zealand is ready for natural alternatives to over-the-counter and prescription medications. My friends and family were so very supportive, and we can’t wait to get back for a couple months end of the year.
In my last post (from ages ago), I told you a bit about my professional background. What about you? What’s your work background? I’m keen to hear from you. This post-professional, work-from-home mommy land can be lonely at times. I’d love to connect with those of you that have gone through a similar experience.
Today I want to tell you more about what I’m currently doing for work. As you know, a big part of Malama Momma is teaching people how to use doTERRA essential oils and helping them purchase the oils via a wholesale account (which provides me a supplemental income for now… full-time income by next year – whoop whoop!). The other part of Malama Momma is providing labor and postpartum doula, as well as a lactation education services. I completed my training last year with the lovely Anne Croudance, a doula trainer with Maternity Wise International. Have you heard of a doula? Did you use one for any of your births? They are becoming more and more popular in America. I’m a birth coach or birth partner. The word doula is ancient Greek and refers to the highest form of female servant, one that helps a mother through pregnancy, birth, and beyond into the early childhood years. I love that.
After going through my own two births and serving a handful of women over the past 6 months, I like to think of the birthing process as a half marathon. I’ve completed two half marathons, so I think it’s a suitable analogy. When you’re training for a half marathon, you need a running plan, nutrition support, core strengthening, a gradient map of the route, and preferably a coach and support team for lots of encouragement. A doula is a certified coach that can guide you through pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and in the delicate postpartum weeks. In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Jacques Mortiz, an obstetrician, said:
A doula is like a personal trainer. Not that you can’t do it yourself; it’s just nicer if you have a personal coach for it.
I agree. It’s just nicer. As a doula, I can attend births in hospitals, birth centers, or at home. Whether you’re having a vaginal delivery or a c-section, pain or no pain medication, my services are available to you. I believe that all birthing experiences can benefit from the services of a doula.
Did you know that using a doula can have a significant impact on your birthing outcomes? In their bookMothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993) reveal striking doula outcomes:
50% reduction in cesarean rate
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in pitocin use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
Those are some great stats. I had no idea the maternal health system in America was so hyper-medicalized. In New Zealand, we birth with midwives. If you prefer to be seen by an obstetrician, you can pay $3,000-5,000 out of pocket. We loved our midwife. She provided the kind of support that I offer to my doula clients. In America, you don’t usually have a direct line to your doctor. As your doula, you can ring me anytime. Doctors and nurses float in and out of your birthing room. As your doula, I’m usually with you and your support team throughout the entire process. I love the process. It’s such an honor to support mommas and daddys through the birthing experience.
I still have much to learn. The normal birthing community here in Hawai’i is thriving and there is a strong network of doulas, placenta encapsulators, childbirth educators, etc. I look forward to getting more connected and serving families as a doula.
In fact, if you know anyone looking for a doula feel free to give them my contact details.