'To Doula or not to Doula'. That is the question. This loose reference to Shakespeare is a fitting phrase to describe how Emily Tucker's fascination for the question "What is normal?" would lead her to supporting women during their pregnancy, birthing and post-partum experiences. Yet her journey was one of happenstance discovery, as compared to a dream rooted in early childhood. I found this particular quote by Emily interesting, as it speaks as to how important it is to embrace our instincts and at times, live in the moment.
“When I was approached by a friend, (the Director of Beginnings Family Resource Centre here in Woodstock where my husband and I volunteer), about a Doula training course being offered, I found myself saying YES to the opportunity before my brain even had a chance to register what it was I was saying yes to!”During the ensuing process of completing her Doula training through DONA International and attending a few natural births, there would be an ‘awakening’ within Emily. This was the career direction she was meant to pursue.
'To Doula or Not to Doula' might also be an apt phrase to describe the choices available to a woman regarding her childbirth support options. Emily has long carried an empathy and concern that young women are trodden upon by a medical system that routinely utilizes a clinical approach to care, and which may involve unnecessary interventions. Emily believes that each woman should recognize she is unique and that she deserves to be treated accordingly during life-altering experiences such as bringing a child into the world. She advocates that each woman should be central to her pregnancy and birth, as compared to being 'treated' as an incidental factor. A Doula’s role is to be there for each step of a personalized journey, offering moral support and gentle guidance. A truly personal experience promotes emotional and spiritual wellness for mother, infant and other family members, and results in a much more meaningful and memorable experience.
Emily is a firm believer that women are naturally designed to bring life into the world and that most are equipped with the ‘tools’ to do so. Emily recognizes there is a fine line which must be honoured in working with each of her clients; she is careful not to impose her personal values, but assures that each person is offered well-rounded information which will equip her to make up her own mind as to the various options available. Ultimately, Emily wants each woman to know there is no greater job for her (Emily) than to “see a mother come through her labour and delivery with a sense of personal accomplishment and pride, and to see couples working in tune with each other so that Mom doesn't feel she has done everything alone. I consider it a true honour to be a part of their intimate and sacred journey”.
With a growing interest in more natural pregnancy, birthing and post-partum options, Doulas as well as Midwives are gaining respect and are increasingly sought out by expectant mothers. Finding a Midwife can be like winning the lottery however, and a Doula can offer insight regarding the associated benefits but also in directing those interested to available resources and Midwife groups. Regardless of whether a woman chooses an Obstetrician or a Midwife for the actual delivery, a Doula can be there to support an expectant mother throughout her overall journey.
|David Charlesworth (www.davidiam.com)|
As of May, 2013 after a lot of hard work, theoretical studies and hands-on learning, Emily became a certified Doula. She has established her own business (L'Chaim Doula Services) and has created a website in order to share her vision. To date, she has supported and attended a dozen births in the Woodstock, Cambridge, Norwich and Stratford areas. She will be there to support her clients yet again, as two will be welcoming another child to their families and have asked to have Emily alongside them on their latest journey. Emily's closing statement is one which reflects her passion for new beginnings:
“I have been witness not only to a child’s first breath, but to a woman transforming into a mother. It is both an honour and privilege! I love my job, including all the ups and downs, joys and challenges, because I know I am making a difference. One baby at a time.”Emily encourages you check out her website and facebook page, where in the relaxation and comfort of your home, you can learn more about how she can help you or someone you know!
Emily’s Website: www.lchaimdoula.com
DONA (Doulas of North America) Website: www.dona.org
Woodstock Needs Midwives: www.facebook.com/woodstockneedsmidwives
Do check out my other blog topics while on here! I love writing about people and what inspires them. I also discuss various career and employee development topics, usually with a dash of humour or a grain of salt! I welcome you to join me, and to leave a comment! Catherine Stewart-Mott; Forward Momentum Services