Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Can't Make You Feel Ashamed of Your Birth (Unless You Really Are Ashamed of It)

Oh, ladies.
"Shame on you!" is something my sweet mother used to say to me every now and again. Usually when I really fouled up. It usually involved a shaking finger in the vicinity of my face and a raised voice. Those were the good old days...

Ironically, now that I am a mid-thirties lady, it is actually pretty hard for somebody to make me feel ashamed of myself unless I am actually...ashamed of myself. (This is the big blessing of your 30's that nobody mentions. Man, I freaking love being 35.)

Shaming is a hot topic in the birth world though, isn't it? If you are dumb enough to have an opinion and share it then you are undoubtedly going to be accused of shaming somebody who did otherwise. If you state that formula is a poor substitute for breast-milk or mention that the cesarean section is a perverse form of birth control (OK, I admit the language was a bit harsh, but you have to understand how the internet works before you judge me on that one), or (gasp) talk about how much you loved your natural birth, then stand back. Because what happens next is you will be accused of shaming people.

Never-mind that the people who you have forced into feeling guilty because you had an opinion are full fledged adults who you have never actually met---never mind that! You got in their head, you twisted their emotions, you are now in charge of their brain. This is called brain control. Sadly, the only person who has it, is you.

Sure, it would be really nice and convenient if every time we felt bad it was actually somebody else's fault. Then nothing would be our fault. And if we did screw up, the bad feelings that went along with it would not be our responsibility.

But I don't buy and and I don't think you should either. (Yeah, I just shamed you. Did you notice my finger wagging in your face?)

Here is the thing- life gets real miserable, real fast, with this mentality. I have seen it happen. Trust me.

I have watched women go from happy with their epidural birth to ashamed of it when they met somebody who had a different birth. Then they love their awesome home birth. Until somebody told them how unsafe home birth can be and how they know somebody whose baby died in a home birth. Oh no, now mom feels bad again!


True story- I had an episiotomy with my first birth. It, of course, was not what I wanted or planned. But it happened. It might have been prevented, but all in all, I think it was probably necessary given the situation and wasn't the end of the world. I still had a great birth. I still can teach about episiotomy being unnecessary "most" of the time. It doesn't make me cry to talk about it. It doesn't make me ashamed that I had one. It doesn't make me jealous when other women didn't have or didn't need one. It is what it is and even though it was part of my birth, I have no problem telling women that they probably don't need them and they are often (almost ALWAYS) unnecessary.

I had two home births, one (accidentally) unassisted. I have read some really angry blogs from some really smart people who think home birth and/or unassisted birth is horribly dangerous. It CAN be dangerous. But the opinions of those people don't make me feel any different about my birth. I loved my home births. They were incredible.

You know why?

Because it is MY BIRTH and I can feel any way I want about it. As an added bonus, I am strong enough to handle it.

And ladies, so are you.

So stop accusing people of fit or fat or formula or birth or cesarean or natural birth SHAMING. Own it. We are women and we should start acting like we are. And women are tough. I pushed roughly 35 pounds (total) of baby through my vagina in my lifetime. I have caught vomit in my bare hands, fished toys out of public toilets, lived in Texas and even puked in a bag on a full flight. I can handle your opinions about my birth.

Chances are, I don't even know you. And if I did, you would think I was hilarious.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Cut It Out: The C-Section Epidemic in America- A Book Review

Ever wondered why the c-section rate is so high and just seems to keep growing? Ever wonder what, if anything, we can actually DO about it as citizens, women, mothers, and voters?

Sometimes I literally feel like I live and breathe birth. I write about it. I read about it. I teach about birth. I train teachers to teach birth. My paid work even revolves around childbirth. With all of that and all that I see others doing, we do see good things happening on an individual basis. But we continue to see a ridiculously high c-section rate and so many women convinced they needed a surgery when the data clearly shows we are doing too many c-sections.

Enter Theresa Morris and her recently published book, Cut It Out: The C-Section Epidemic in America. Morris is a sociologist whose academic background, and her own cesarean and subsequent VBAC, seem to have inspired this fabulously important book.

While separating the reality from the assumed, Morris delves into the institutional constraints that drive cesarean. From insurance companies to peer review to an oppressive fear of litigation that physicians face, her approach is systematic, unemotional, and exactly what is needed to more fully understand the crisis in obstetrics.

As I listen to women's fears as they prepare for birth, many want to avoid a cesarean. They are afraid of doctors in general. They have heard of these men who schedule cesareans around their golf games and ski vacations. While surely such men exist, the cesarean section rate hovering over 30% signifies a problem much bigger than golf games.

When I talk to women after their cesarean, many are fine with their surgery. They were told by their trusted physician that the surgical delivery was necessary. They were there. They know the explanation. They feared for the safety of their child and so did their doctor.

Morris dispels the myth of a rate driven by jerk doctors as well as the myth that every cesarean is necessary. Instead, she describes a reality much more complex. Weighed down by excessive insurance premiums, constant fear of litigation, and a hospital culture that encourages (possibly without meaning to) cesarean, doctors are often only players in a brutal game much bigger than their own desires. While women often are told they needed a cesarean, their physicians motivations may be very different than we realize. Fear and liability, not golf games are driving factors in cesarean rates. Doctors and women are making the best choices they can within a system that desperately needs improvement.

I love what Dr Morris has done in deconstructing this problem, in an unbiased and academic manner. I love to see people from different disciplines approach childbirth in America and look at it with their own lens. When we read the works of people like anthropologist, Robbie Davis-Floyd, journalists Dr Jennifer Margulis and Jennifer Block, and a sociologist like Theresa Morris, we gain a bigger picture and greater understanding of what is really happening with birth.

Perhaps most important of all is that Theresa Morris provides lists of things we can actually DO to lower the cesarean section rate. Did I cheer when the first thing she mentioned was recommend that women take an independent childbirth class? Maybe, just a little...

Morris' solutions were more than just for women but for their providers, for insurance companies and policy makers. Cut It Out: The C-Section Epidemic in America, is an important book and one I would strongly encourage anyone who seeks change in childbirth to carefully read.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Have a Flabby Tummy, But I Still Love Maria Kang

Have you heard of Maria Kang? The "No Excuse" mom. Three kids, hard body, bikini pictures, calling us all out on the carpet for our excuses. "What is your excuse," she asks?

Wow, she really (and I mean REALLY) ticks people off. (I have been trying to use big letters less, channeling my inner and more subtle, Elmore Leonard, but in this case, they are appropriately used.)

I write for Mothering Magazine online and I read a post on there the other day about Maria Kang written by someone who obviously didn't adore her. Well, I think she used the "F" word and talked about hitting her. So the author seemed pretty upset...

Maria has upset a lot of people with her "No Excuse Mom" movement. She challenges us to take care of ourselves, exercise, eat right- basically to show ourselves that we love ourselves by caring for our body rather than what many of us do- hurting it. She boldly declares that having children isn't an excuse for not taking care of your body as best you can.

Oh, and she posts a fair amount of bikini clad pictures of herself on her social media sites showing that, yes, you can look great after children even without a trainer a chef or tons of free time.

But I still love her. I don't look like her, I don't really follow her advice. I have a muffin top and like cake and get second helpings on dessert way too often. Still she manages not to offend me. "What is your excuse," kind of...inspires me. What is my excuse? Why would I eat poorly and not exercise and then blame it on my children? Is that fair to me? Is it fair to them?

I follow her page on Facebook and she makes me want to drink more water and try harder and find the time to have fun and practice self care that includes things that make me happier and my life healthier. I love it.

I know those excuses. I have them. I don't have a trainer and it is hard to exercise and usually involves me missing at least an hour of sleep and/or work opportunities. I gave birth four times and gained a grand total of 185 pounds in those pregnancies. I lost most of it. But not all.  If you think having that many kids in six years isn't a freaking awesome excuse for being chubby or tired or a full blown alcoholic, then you are an idiot. I have excuses and I also have legitimate reasons for not being perfect physically or in any other way.

Still, it clears my head and makes me feel better to exercise. It allows me to keep up with my kids and bike with them or run with them. It lets me set an example of not just fitness, but of taking time to appropriately care for myself. It helps me yell less and smile more. Exercise helps me feel better about me.

Maybe that makes me shallow, but I think it just makes me honest. We all feel better about ourselves when we are being the best version of ourselves that we can be. We all feel better about ourselves when we set goals and work towards them, no matter what those goals may be. The best version of myself doesn't look like Maria Kang. First, I am not Asian. Second, I have never owned a bikini. But my best version does include me exercising and eating well.

You know what, even though "my" best version and "my" no excuse life involves a muffin top and stretch marks and my hair in a pony tail, I don't feel intimidated by Maria Kang and HER best. Even when I am at MY best even my version looks nothing like hers.

Having no excuses isn't about looking like a fitness model or being tan and swimsuit ready all year round. It is about taking a hard look at yourself and being honest about what excuses you make that hold you back from being the best you can be. I hear people say they are too stupid or too busy or too old or too whatever to do things that they are perfectly capable of doing. Usually what talks them out of being their best self is fear, but the excuses help make it feel OK.

Then, they get a little mad at Maria or someone like her for shoving in their face that it is possible. This happens with fit women, but it happens with many others. I see women seriously offended when they hear that somebody has...wait for it...a natural birth. Oh, but if you really want to tick people off then have a VBAC. Or a VBAMC! "What? That isn't safe so I didn't do it." It happens with women who achieve in business. "She is really aggressive..." It happens all the time. Maria is just bold enough to throw down the virtual glove and call us on it.

There will be no Hawaiian selfies of me seductively walking out of the ocean in slow motion on this blog or my instagram. But Maria Kang, I will take your challenge and try to live with less excuses.

Bring it.

(By the way, her movement has started free moms groups all over the country. I LOVE that.)

"Lean In"- Feminist Babble or Words of Wisdom?- A Book Review

The company I work for, Birth Boot Camp, recently launched  a doula program. I am not certifying to become a doula with Birth Boot Camp (yet), but I figured it would be good to check out the doula reading list. Amanda Devereux and Maria Pokluda put it together and had some interesting choices. They didn't just include the typical birth support books but added a book specifically about women in business. Titled, "Lean In," and written by Sheryl Sandberg, I had never heard of it, but was curious.

I finally have a "fancy" phone and so I ordered it on Audible. I spent the next week listening to "Lean In," on my walks or whenever I had a chance. I mention that because listening to a book is slightly different than reading it, especially when the voice over is not the author. It gives the author a voice that might not sound exactly how I would have pictured it otherwise.

I have to admit that I didn't care for the first chapter. In fact, I almost just stopped listening because it was really not the way I wanted to spend my free time. It just sounded like all the old complaints I have heard a thousand times about women not getting ahead and about equality and history and sad family stories about how hard life is on women.

There was also a lot of stuff about "bossy" girls and how we shouldn't call girls bossy. As a mom of four kids, one boy and three girls, I can unequivocally say that both boys and girls can be bossy and it is equally annoying no matter the gender. It tend to just call a spade a spade. If somebody is bossy then they are bossy. And there is a difference between bossy and assertive. Assertive isn't annoying and rude, bossy is. Assertive stands up for what they know is right, shows leadership, and takes responsibility and works- all traits I try to promote in all four of my children. I probably call my son bossy far more than my girls (though not often, don't shoot me). Truthfully, I really dislike the "no more bossy" campaign. I also don't believe for a second that it is OK for anybody to be bossy whether they have a pecker or a set of breasts. Gag- just stop it. I didn't even KNOW this was a thing that was just said to girls before the campaign began.

Anyhow, but then I got into the book.

You know what- it was one of the best books I have read in a while. I normally fill my mind with birth books and murder mysteries- real deep stuff. I can't remember the last time I read something that could be dubbed "self-help," but I really enjoyed most of what was said in "Lean In".

I have realized in the last year that I am shockingly a "working mother." I don't know why but I felt somewhat ashamed when I was "just" a housewife and now I feel somewhat ashamed at the work I do for pay, even though it is almost entirely in my own home. (I work from home part time and travel five or six times a year for trainings and other events.) I manage to feel not good enough in all my endeavors despite the overpowering love I have for serving my family and the deep passion I have for the work I do trying to improve birth through education.

Talking about this honestly and openly was something that the author, Sheryl Sandberg, did in "Lean In" that was very eye opening for me. What is up with women, myself included, being so hard on ourselves because we have to make choices in our lives? Obviously if we want or need to work some sacrifices will need to be made in our home. The opposite is also true. Priorities must be made and hard choices will be involved. Why do we feel so bad about it and so guilty no matter what we do?

Her chapters about figuring out how to make this whole "balance" work were so helpful to me. Sheryl Sandberg talked about the realities of life- that things have to give sometimes but that isn't always a bad thing. It helped me schedule myself better with my own work. I have a tendency to never turn it off or set aside my computer or my phone. Because I do work from home it is easy to work all day long at the expense of my children and my husband. My desire to do well at my work sometimes trumps my long vision and what is best for our entire family.

Hearing Sandberg's words helped me organize things better and work more efficiently while making time for my family. It helped me see that if the powerhouse woman helping lead Facebook can focus just on her family over the weekend, then certainly, I can too. This was actually a revelation. My life is literally better now.

Sandberg's talk about "coming to the table" and how women often dismiss themselves from the conversation in an effort to be...demure?!...was eye opening. Her talk about working hard and fighting hard for the best job and the best pay is so incredibly important. This in particular is why I believe the genius women behind Birth Boot Camp DOULA chose this book for every single doula to read.

If you truly understand the WORTH of what you do and refuse to give it away, then you can be a powerhouse in your own business. Women need to start valuing their work no matter where they do it and no matter what they do. I have to admit, the fact that many women lack confidence and the self assurance to expect profit from their labors is a HUGE hindrance for all women. This is especially applicable in the birth world with many birth workers giving away their labors or sorely under valuing them in an effort to serve all women. They do this at the expense of their own families and the value of birth work in general. In fact, there is often spite directed at women who charge and apologizes issued from women who dare charge for their work.

Sandberg's discussion about how women who do achieve are often looked down upon or viewed as bossy or "bit#$y" is sadly so true. We see that a lot in birth work too. I think sometimes people are threatened by someone who seems able to accomplish what they haven't. This tends to explain the "mommy wars" too, doesn't it? Why do we care so much if somebody does something differently than us? Why do we feel like failures if another woman has tighter abs or a cleaner floor or a higher paying job? Why do we then lash out at them rather than just appreciate their time and talents?

There was lots more to the book. I loved and appreciated her focus on real things that we can each personally do to improve our standing and our value. Some of it was more applicable to women seeking to climb the ladder in corporate America than me. I will admit that I didn't agree with every sentiment in the book. Sandburg seems to feel that men are just as capable of staying at home and raising children as women are. And while I have to admit that it would be much more likely that we achieve true equality economically if more men stayed at home or more women worked, I don't view that as an ideal.

I am politically incorrect and incredibly old fashioned in my belief that women are divinely designed to be nurturing mothers and should be providing a lot of care for young children. But you can't really say things like that out loud any more.

Realistically though, she is right. We live in a capitalist society and worth is measured by money, usually money produced. While the work women do in the home is worthwhile, it doesn't directly produce income and so they are of no value in a society that measures value with dollar signs. I wish it was different, but it isn't.

Even if I didn't agree with every single thing stated in, "Lean In" and even if Sandberg and I might vote for different people every now and again, I really loved this book. (And I hope she won't be offended that I disagree with her a little. She seems like the type who can handle it.)

And don't worry guys, I think you are good at stuff too. Women are unique in our ability to grow and nurture children, but you are usually much better at arm wrestling. And that counts for something.

If you are curious about the book, this TED talk from Sheryl Sandberg covers a bit of it. The book is much more in-depth an worth the time, but this will give you the basic idea.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

You Always Have Options in Birth- Until You Think You Don't

I believe that women will be the driving force in changing birth and lowering the cesarean section rate. This will come from nowhere else. I also believe that women have options in their births- often options they never realized were there.

And while I can freely admit that there are many things making options in childbirth appear diminished or even non-existent (lack of funds, insurance limitations, doctors orders, proximity, health concerns, etc) that doesn't scare me near as much as another much more common problem.

Women, in general, do not believe that they have options regarding how they birth their child. Sadly, we are often our own worst enemy when it comes to choices in childbirth.

The (empowering) truth is this: there are options when it comes to birthing our baby. Some of them may be unpleasant, some scary, some seemingly out of our reach- but they are there. Those options, however, no matter what they are, become instantly invisible when we ourselves deny that they exist.

I don't know how many times I have heard women say things like this:

"I have to birth at this hospital."
"I can't afford a (insert) doula, midwife, home birth, childbirth class, etc."
"That birth center is too far away from me."
"My insurance doesn't cover it."
"I don't have time for XYZ."
"I am too late in my pregnancy to change care providers."

The list goes on. I get it. These are all legitimate concerns. They are also very limiting when we ourselves believe that they are the only thing possible.

I have also been around long enough to see women travel to different states to have a baby with a care provider who believed they could VBAC. I have seen women scrimp, save, trade, or beg in order to afford a care provider or support person or childbirth class that could help them get the birth they wanted. I have seen them make sacrifices in an effort to get the best possible birth for themselves and their baby.

Making the sacrifices, hiring the midwife, paying the doula, doing the childbirth class, reading the books and all these things don't actually guarantee the outcome you want. But they do guarantee one thing: no matter what happens YOU will know that YOU did all you could for this birth. You can look back and know you did your part.

There is comfort in that and there is power in that. There is great peace in knowing that we did the best we could.

We talk a lot about empowerment in birth circles. I have to admit, it isn't my favorite word. I think it is over and misused far too often. Empowerment however is a very real thing. But empowerment NEVER comes to those who refuse to own their own choices, refuse to make their own sacrifices, and refuse to believe that they actually get to play a role in the choices surrounding their births or their life in general.

You always have options, as long as that baby is in you.

The current obstetric climate can be hostile. We all know this. But it isn't all bad. There are wonderful OBs out there. There are amazing midwives who do great work. There are good hospitals and affordable birth centers and people willing to work with you to help you. You can blame the system, but know this- blaming the system (or complaining or being angry or hurt) DOES NOTHING TO CHANGE IT.

YOU have to try. I am tired, (sick and tired), of women throwing up their hands in submission before they have even begun to fight for their best birth. We are often the limiting factor when it comes to getting the birth we want.

Did you hear that?

Yes, at the risk of offending every woman on the planet I am going to say it again. YOU have choices, but YOU have to make them. They won't be easy but they are yours. Stop listening to your own excuses and start working towards getting what you want. Don't be the person who stops you.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Natural Birth For The Mainstream Mama: A Book Review

There are lots of “mainstream” guides to pregnancy and birth. From the “What to Expect When You Expect Everything to Go Wrong,” series to the beloved, “Girlfriend's Guide to Bad Advice You Could Get at a Baby Shower,” the bookshelves are full of mediocre, fear mongering, prepare for your cesarean, fluff.

But entering from stage left, something a little bit refreshing- “Natural Birth For The Mainstream Mama” by Lauren Rauseo is a new kind of “mainstream” birth book. Full of basic, solid advice on achieving a natural hospital birth without the woo present in many other birth books more directed to the home birth crowd, this is a volume that a regular gal just considering natural birth wouldn’t be afraid to pick up.

Lauren’s style tends towards the sarcastic, which makes a subject that can be sensitive for many (natural birth) seem a lot more approachable and normal for your average gal. (There is a possibility that we are long lost sisters since I have been called the most sarcastic person ever...) The information in "Natural Birth For The Mainstream Mama" is solid and covers the basics needed to start on your journey towards a natural birth. She hammers home the most important points in a way any birth teacher would appreciate.

The book is pretty short, so I think additional reading would be great, but it is an excellent start for anybody interested. Lauren also does a nice job citing her sources so you can check out studies that back up some of the more valuable assertions regarding the evidence based care that many women birthing are looking for. (This is really nice actually because many people are under the impression that anything that involves a needle is safer than the alternative. Lauren manages to get some good sources out there for people to peruse without getting too technical or turning us off.) 

Lauren presents things in a manner that is easy to understand, amusing, and incredibly concise. Each chapter ends with some bullet points letting you know what you most needed to glean from it.

Lauren ends the book with her own birth stories, which I think is a nice touch. Her birth stories aren’t necessarily “ideal”. By that I mean that she doesn’t have a textbook, perfect, natural birth. But she does achieve pain-medication free hospital births even against some pretty stacked odds.

This is a powerful reminder of much of what she has taught: that preparation and education for your natural hospital birth are not just nice, they are absolutely necessary. No matter how much you try things don’t always line up like you dream, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great unmedicated birth in the hospital. And frankly, I love personal touches. Evidence is a fabulous thing, but we learn so much from the experiences of others and it helps us know that we too can accomplish hard things even if everything isn't perfect or as we planned. Women will remember her birth stories and they will give them strength for their own births.

While I do think other preparation is necessary for a natural hospital birth (what can I say, I just wish everything was a big advertisement for Birth Boot Camp classes) this book is a perfect start. Personally, I feel that we need more things like this out there that are accessible to your basic woman just starting to consider a natural birth but who is freaked out by the placenta eating talk so often bantered around. (Not that I see anything wrong with placenta eating. It is actually one of my favorite things. That is why I couldn’t write this book, I am too far gone to crazy town.)

If you know you want a home birth, then you may be happier with something a little more crunchy since Lauren definitely seems to feel more comfortable with hospital birth. But, you know what, that is what the vast majority of women feel comfortable with! And I for one am glad that hospital birthing women now have a great resource at their fingertips with some good info that can realistically help them achieve a fabulous and natural hospital birth.

This book would frankly make a great gift too. It isn't too pricey and it is so easy to read without ever being confrontational or too "out there" that you could hand a copy to a relative or friend without fear of offending them. And what a great conversation starter at a baby shower?!

Check out Lauren Rauseo. You can buy her book HERE, (it is also on Kindle and a super great price) find her on Facebook HERE ,

PS- Lauren DOES mention this blog AND Birth Boot Camp in her book so that is pretty special to me. WOOHOO! BUY THIS BOOK! Maybe for a friend! Seriously, they would like it! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Better Doulas, Better Births

Amanda Devereux, a successful doula in New Orleans and co-creator of the Birth Boot Camp DOULA program.

There is something that happens in the natural birth community that we don't talk about often. It happens among birth workers and it is called burnout.

Burnout happens for two main reasons, both tragic to witness, especially among those once so dedicated to a profession and a work.

The first is financial. It is a fact of life that living takes money. We all have bills to pay, families to feed, and a finite amount of time in which to do it all. It can be hard to make a living teaching birth classes or working as doula or midwife. Few teach a small business class for birth workers so they know how to make it, how to charge for something they might want to give away, and how to turn passion into a sustainable business. Any small business owner can tell you that running a successful and sustainable business is hard in a plethora of ways.

The second reason for burnout among birth workers is simply how difficult it can be to watch birth in the modern obstetric climate. Birth isn't always easy, the hours are sporadic if you attend births, you deal with many people and different types of families and relationships all at an exciting, but often stressful part of life.

How do you handle this without guidance, the ability to decompress, or just somebody to talk to who understands?

I have sat in a room with birth workers more than once and heard a doula say that she can just no longer handle attending births- they are too disturbing for her and she can't keep bringing that home to her family anymore. She also just needs to make a living.
Maria Pokluda, an experienced DFW doula and co-creator of the Birth Boot Camp DOULA program.

There is a better way!

The world NEEDS doulas and childbirth educators who are skilled, compassionate, who can pay their bills and who are finding joy and fulfillment in their profession. It is possible to do this. 

I love the words of a doula friend of mine and childbirth educator, Tashina Benning-Witter. She openly talks about making a change in the way she practiced as a doula when she committed to herself that she would require a full length birth class of some type for any of her moms. She also decided to openly tell them that she was a doula for natural births.

She found that when she said this, women embraced it. They were WAITING for someone, just one someone, to believe that they could do it. Suddenly she found herself happier as a doula and (pay attention, this is the important part) her clients were happier too. They were having better birth, breastfeeding, and even parenting experiences because of the high level of service she was able to provide for them.

I hope you aren't tired of me talking about Birth Boot Camp. It is my job, my passion, my way to make birth better from the ground up. I love what we are doing in childbirth education. Childbirth education matters. But it isn't enough. We have always included doulas as an important part of the birth team and a person that we encourage every couple to have on their side. Now we are doing more than encouraging doulas, we are now training them.

Yes, we have just expanded into the doula territory. Maria Pokluda and Amanda Devereaux have created together a doula program beyond any other out there. What does it have?

-It specifically trains doulas in supporting natural birth AND the partner that we value so much at Birth Boot Camp. Of course they can handle any kind of birth that comes their way, but for women who know they want a natural birth, a Birth Boot Camp DOULA

-Our doulas will be mentored by other experienced doulas who can answer their questions and help them through tough times.

-They include a comprehensive marketing training so that the doulas can actually run a business successfully. Plus, they can go back and access this marketing information later when they need it. This marketing info is taught by a marketing specialist (Shannon Blackwell, who has years of experience in small business marketing and who has helped launch Birth Boot Camp as a company.) Our marketing training is uniform for all doulas going through who train with us.

-In-depth lactation training is included in the doula training. (And taught by none other than the incredible Mellanie Sheppard.)

-Childbirth education classes to attend are included in your doula training so you don't have to go finding them on your own.

-All your materials for yourself and your clients are professionally printed, beautiful, and ready to go so you don't have to make photocopies or scrounge up your own paperwork.

The requirements and the work involved in becoming a Birth Boot Camp DOULA are significant, but the benefits are incomprehensible. This program is amazing. I truly believe that the more women we have out there with the knowledge and the skills to help women have empowering, positive birth experiences, the more change we can make.

The cesarean section rate can be lowered. America can have healthier babies and women. We can help make that happen. I truly believe that this starts with us. This however, is a big job and we need TOOLS to make it happen. We need experienced birth workers to blaze a trail and teach us how to make this happen.

Women are ready for change. Women want and deserve to have great births. We can be part of making birth better, healthier, and more beautiful. Birth Boot Camp DOULA is one way we can make this happen.

Join us.



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