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Thread: What to do...

  1. #1

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    :-k I am feeling inspired & thinking about what I really want to do in my future...
    As I know we will return to Bali, I am thinking about things I can use there, rather than trying to force Western beliefs that I have been brought up with, into our humble village life & so have thought about doing some aged care work & possibley a course, but I am also thinking of the amount of gorgeous babies born in Bali...
    I have this strong pull towards childbirth, I know Kelly you have just done courses & was wondering if you would mind sharing what you went through & how you managed to get to where you are now... Etc...
    As we really currently need my wage, but hoping in the future I can perhaps work less & do something else on the side!!!
    So I am trying to plan (the ever planner) but I want to do something I am passionate about & that I will love & can throw myself into 100%..
    If you dont want to share here, could you PM me?....Perhaps share how you began, what previous experience you had etc...



    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    OooOh that would be lovely Tracey, imagine what a beautiful thing you could offer Balinese women and I hear ya about beautiful Balinese babies!!!

    I got the calling to become a birth attendant after Elijah's birth - I couldn't believe I could have a baby completely naturally after being so pro-epidural after Marisa's augmented birth. I just felt really empowered and wanted other women to feel that too. I looked into midwifery but decided against it after the big workload with a young baby, but came across Rhea Dempsey my teacher now, I rang her a few days before her annual course was about to begin.

    I went along, still thinking I might do midwifery one day, even if I didn't want to be a birth attendant later, I thought I could use that as extra learning to get into midwifery. Anyway, I was very uneasy when I first started, it seem that everyone had been around birth before or knew of each other, there were days I wondered if it was really what I wanted to do - I loved the birth part, but the long hours, the learning while trying to balance family - the organising babysitters... but soon enough it had a hold of me and I began to think I didn't want to do midwifery anymore, I wanted to be a birth attendant. I wanted to be with women from start to finish, not in a shift, and to help them with the birth they want.

    In the last few months of my course I have come completely passionate about everything to do with birth and am dying to do more, even more than before. And it's funny, in our last class, we all talked about our journey and gave feedback to everyone on our journey with them. Ironically, everyone felt that I was one of the experienced ones and was amazed at the work I was doing. So it was so nice to hear this after all the stressing!

    So long story, but it was a huge personal journey for me, I am the last person to be spiritual or what some would call 'airy fairy' but it has changed me in so many ways, and taught me so much about myself that I didn't expect. So it's for this reason I generally recommend doing courses that are longer like the one I did. It's a journey, there is so much to deal with especially on your side of things, but for someone like yourself who might be moving, perhaps an online course might suit you better.

    Rhea is about to start her next group this week, she usually takes on one group a year from March to November (9 months lol) but she's doing three groups this year. I have been promoting her work a great deal as she's just brilliant - she's Australia's natural birth guru - our answer to the Janet Balaskas' and Sheila Kitzinger's of the world

    I hope that helps - I have a list of doula training courses in an article I wrote HERE.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  3. #3

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    Tracey - I think thats a fantastic idea!!

    & Kell, it was great to hear your motivation for becoming a Birth Attendant. I know how passionate you are about it, but I had never read your lead up to it.

  4. #4

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    Thanks Kel, we wont be moving for atleast 10 yrs I imagine...

    I am really interested & will check out the post...
    I guess my labour & delivery of Indah being drug free also left me feeling empowered & realising what i had missed by having the peth with Maddy...

    It is something I'd like to help other women achieve, coz it made me feel like...... Well it made me feel I could do & achieve anything... I set my mind to!

    Maybe after #3, is born... I can focus on MY future instead!!!

  5. #5

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    Fletch I am like that with Ill people...
    I cant cope, I break down in tears when I see people ill, ailing, neglected, hurting etc...
    I recall my grandma was ill & was told she had diabetes so Mum & Dad went on their second honeymoon, I was 18, but 4 days later my Gran was rushed into hospital & had been revived twice on the way to Hospital, so someone called Mum & Dad & said you better get home (they were travelling through Asia), my older sister & I picked them up from the airport 2 days later & my gran had died on numerous occasions but been revived, anyways we race to hospital & walk into her room, she holds Dads hand & dies... He was the last of her kids she needed to see...
    It was all terrible sad etc, but there was a very old man in the room next to her....All I kept thinking was this poor man is next in line to die & he is all alone, he had many machines keeping him breathing etc, here we all were crying & sad, he could hear us I'm certain, even though he was out of it, so I went in & sat with him for about 20mins while they cleaned up my gran.... I cant imagine anything worse than to die in a hospital all alone!!!
    I know this has nothing to do with birthing etc, but I cant be emotionally strong for ill people, I just cry! So I'd not be very good at it, esp kids etc!!
    But being at the beginning would be wonderful...

    Also when we visit my Grans grave I always have 2 bunches of flowers as there's a gentleman called Harry buried next to her & NOONE visits him ever, I always talk to him too... I just feel bad for people who have noone, I am a bit odf a tough exterior big sook inside person....

  6. #6

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    Kelly, do you find the 'on call' aspect of being a doula difficult to cope with? For a while I was toying with the idea but I found the idea of the hours (long labours at night) and the possibility of being called away from important family moments by clients a bit daunting.
    Do you think its better to work in partnership with someone else so that they can cover for you when you really have to be there for your family and vice-versa?
    How difficult is it to be an advocate for birthing women in hospitals? Do you ever find that when you speak for a woman who is having problems with speaking for herself that hospital staff (drs, nurses etc) try and override you or are they generally co-operative? Do you ever need to get forcefull?

  7. #7

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    Kelly, do you find the 'on call' aspect of being a doula difficult to cope with?

    >> I do find it difficult but if you have a good support network it's fine. As you know I don't have much back-up in terms of babysitters so I used to have to get a nanny in for the hours John can't be here or John will take the day off. It is quite stressful and I hate worrying that John's work wont be supportive but they seem okay so far. Apart from that my passion is strong, so it's not enough to keep me away from birth. Of course it depends on how many births you are doing a month. Most with families will only do 1-2 a month (even 2 can happen on the same day, I know of doulas this has happened to!) and some do 3 a week! So depends on your situation, kids, etc.

    Do you think its better to work in partnership with someone else so that they can cover for you when you really have to be there for your family and vice-versa?

    >> Most doulas or birth attendants do have a back-up, some don't. What most will do though is advise in avance if they have holidays booked or something planned and then introduce them to a back-up. I think women prefer to know that they are booking someone and they are going to be there, iykwim? But not to say you shouldn't address this with them! I haven't been doing this for ages and haven't had this issue yet, but I have been building relationships with other attendants to help me with back-ups. Of course you want to work with someone who has the same beliefs and personality as you, as this is what drew the woman to you - who you are - so it's good to get someone who matches with you quite closely.

    How difficult is it to be an advocate for birthing women in hospitals? Do you ever find that when you speak for a woman who is having problems with speaking for herself that hospital staff (drs, nurses etc) try and override you or are they generally co-operative? Do you ever need to get forceful?

    >> The thing is, they will only and should only ever take instructions from the woman. So if the woman has written something into her birth plan / birth intentions and the doctors are suggesting inductions / epidurals etc and she doesn't want this, then you can say, 'in her birth plan she'd like to do this...' and then you do the BRAN thing... (benefits, risks, alternatives, now). Because sometimes the woman isn't in a state to speak or think clearly. It's an important part of my job to translate the jargon to the woman and ask her what she wants to do with that and encourage her to ask questions. As an attendant you can't make the decisions, but you can encourage explainations, facilitate communication and help the couple be informed about what's going on. Then they are left to make the decision. I was nervous about probing for more info at first, but it's not been hard to overcome especially when it's clear that intervention is being offered when it's not needed or when you are passionate about the woman having the birth she wants if all is well. All of this passion has grown, I had a fire burning when I thought about becoming an attendant, but I didn't realise the height of my passion until late in my course.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  8. #8

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    Can I add here Kelly said
    "Of course you want to work with someone who has the same beliefs and personality as you, as this is what drew the woman to you - who you are - so it's good to get someone who matches with you quite closely."

    This is true for the beliefs, with my business partner and I being in a regional environment and the only 2 of Doulas here it is difficult to find the same personality. We believe the same thngs about birth in that we believe in women. But we have very different personalities. We see this as an advantage. But we are in a regional setting, it may be different in the cities.

    Sorry to crash your thread.

  9. #9

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    Philippa, I guess you wouldn't have much choice then - so it makes sense to choose someone based on beliefs and philosophy.

    I have found it hard to help some women locate Doulas / Attendants in their area, especially in the outer areas, so I do see what you mean, point taken! But I do think that to some degree you need someone who is going to click with you, if you have the choice. I think it needs to be a good experience to help that word of mouth while our work is still quite unknown to many.

    Some of us who are more empowered with knowledge already may be happy to hire someone for their knowledge and beliefs only, but I think many also like someone to have the personality that they agree with so they don't clash at the birth or beforehand. I don't see it as being the main factor though.

    I ran a poll ages ago on what drew people to the Obstetrician they chose and one of the top two answers was bedside manner... but if you don't have much choice then that it a little more difficult! I do agree that it's much better to have an attendant than not though
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  10. #10

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    Absolutely agree with you Kelly. We are hopeing to have more Doulas here soon. At present we try to get all our potential clients to meet both of us first o determine the person they feel most comfortable with. This also allows them to choose whether or not they take advantage of having a back up doula at all. Personality does count and I think that most women we work with can see that our first devotion is to them and their experiece and most would choose to have a back up. I have only had a problem on one occation where a woman had only ever seen me in my political lobbyest role and could not get past the persona of strength to the passion for women's experiences that drives it.

    Any way we figured that it was just one issue I cant change until we have changed the world of birthing to be women and family centred. Until then that strength is what attracts other women especially those trying for a VBAC, that and that I have been there too.

    Cheers

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