Utah County Doula: Hope over fear

What is the top advice would you give to a group of women who asked you questions about pregnancy and childbirth? As a Utah County doula, I had the amazing opportunity to be on a panel at a BYU class with wonderful women who are mothers and birth workers and answered a ton of questions that dozens of young women (and a few men) had about childbirth, labor, postpartum and pregnancy.
Seriously, I was flanked by some AMAZING women such as Monica Wilkinson (a Utah County doula, a childbirth educator, photographer and mom of 6), Susie Hannig (a Utah County doula, massage therapist, and mom of 4), Eliza Payne (a Utah Countydoula and mom of four), and Dani Reed (a Utah County doula, a nursing student and future CNM and mom of 5).
(Would you believe I didn’t get any pictures? Maybe it was because I had brought my 2-year-old son…)
The questions ranged from, “Will I poop during labor?” to “How did you connect with your baby during pregnancy?” to “How painful will it be?”
A women leans on a birthing ball while her husband gives counter-pressure during a labor contraction.
It was so great to share some of my thoughts and things I’ve learned since becoming a mother and a birth photographer and doula. That moment seemed so important that we all felt so inadequate to answer as many questions as we could. How could we impart all the knowledge we wanted on such important topics in an hour? There was no way.
I thought about the big picture – the things that I felt were of most value: of knowledge itself.
I shared how valuable it is to seek to learn everything you can about birth and pregnancy yourself and to make the choices yourself.
I urged them to play an active role in their pregnancy and birth and that by doing so, they would feel empowered and that empowerment would carry them throughout their motherhood.
I encouraged them to look at things providers tell them to do with critical eyes and with their intuition guiding them.
A midwife hands a newborn baby over to her mother who is laying in a bed.
At the end of the hour, we all shared a feeling of shared power – the power of unity of sharing information that will help change, buoy and empower the next generation.
I hope that, from that class, at least one person will look forward to pregnancy and birth with hope and not fear.
A mother cuddles with her newborn boy on a couch.
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