Birth!? Ew!

Birth can be gross sometimes.
Birth can be gross sometimes.


I recently came across a post in a Facebook group for doulas that was posted to discuss a recent Buzzfeed article about umbilical cord art. The article discussed how much the author thought that the idea of taking the umbilical cord and making art and keepsakes out of it (drying it, specifically), was gross. The doula’s in the facebook group were saddened and some were even furious that people can think it’s disgusting.

It has taken me a long time to learn this, but it is ok with me if you don’t like birth, or placentas, or umbilical cords! If you want your baby washed before touching them, I don’t want you to feel guilty because you read somewhere that it is good to wait before giving baby a bath, you won’t receive that judgement from me.  It can be empowering to some birthing persons to see or feel their baby’s head as it is being born and for others it could be traumatizing to force those options on them.

I acknowledge that I am one of the weird ones. I used to watch surgery shows with my family while eating dinner. “How’s your Mac and Cheese?” “Good. Did you see that vasectomy!?”.  Having grown up in a home with a mother with a disability, medical stuff was part of it. And some of it was pretty gross stuff. I am not phased in the least by the ick that comes with birth.

But, I realize that many people are.  Where I can see the beauty and wonder in a placenta, many others just see a disgusting piece of literally bloody grossness.  And while I love to gush and geek out about all things birth, I understand that not everyone wants to hear it.  (Though I am still working on not oozing birth talk all the time!)

I believe that part of being a doula is accepting that.  Coming to my clients where they are, instead of trying to persuade them to see things my way is integral to my mission of nurturing a culture of doula work that offers truly non judgmental support. 

Whether birth grosses you out or not, I support you!


If you liked this article and want to book a consultation with Amanda, you can contact her here.

An Un-Doula Experience?

Not your typical doula!
Not your typical doula!

“I thought doulas don’t eat hot dogs? Ha ha.”

It was a comment that was said off-handedly and was not sincere, but the truth behind the comment was there. It said: Aren’t doulas supposed to be all-natural, no bra, burning herbs, and get in touch with your inner goddess type people?

No, we’re not.

I eat hot dogs. And dairy, even if I am lactose intolerant. I don’t make sure everything I eat is organic, and I need to wear store bought sunscreens. I don’t know an herb from a spice. I love my underwire bras and I don’t care how many studies you show me that say sugar is evil, I love my sweet treats.

It comes down to what works for me.

Which is nothing more than what I want for all of my clients. To be able to take the information about their options and decide what works for them. My job is to support that, not what my idea of what their birth should be.

Maybe that makes me a bit of an Un-Doula, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Let’s un-do some of the stereotypes about doulas that exist out there.

There are all kinds of doulas.

I am the kind that can provide you with information about different options and support you through the preferences you choose. This is your show, not mine.

So if you have been apprehensive about contacting a doula because you feel like they only support a “natural” birth, contact the Birth Nerd Kelowna for a truly personal and professional experience.

Why “The Birth Nerd”?

I have been working as a doula for almost five years now.  In that time, I have searched my soul for my “thing”, the one thing that makes me and my doula services unique.  It has taken a lot of hard work, soul searching and frankly, trying to force myself to work with clients that I just don’t mesh with because I felt I was supposed to doula a certain way.

So over the last few weeks, I really asked myself a lot of difficult questions, searching for an answer.

And suddenly, it struck me. I am an avid inhaler of information.

When I was pregnant, I was the one reading birth stories, borrowing stacks of books from the library, and buying any books that I wanted to read over and over.  I had a small library worth by the time our first was born.  I could not (and still cannot!) stop myself from learning more and more.  Anytime I come across a new word I don’t know that might be about birth work, I google it for a quick definition.  Then I look it up in my books and I learn everything I can.  In our prenatal class, I was the one in the back of the class rolling her eyes and going “How can you not know this!?” at the eight month pregnant woman who didn’t know what a placenta was.  (Disclaimer:  As a doula, I absolutely understand that everyone chooses to approach their birth differently; as someone who deals with things by learning as much as I can however, I could not understand how you could not know this stuff!)  In doula training, it was the same for the doulas-to-be who regularly stopped the class to have certain words or concepts – that were in the required reading- explained to them.  What happened to, you know, actually reading the books (there were several, by the way) that were on the required reading list!?

My strength lies in information and non judgmental support.  While I have my opinions on how I do things with my children, and I will share if you ask (because who doesn’t love talking about their kids?), I am not here to judge, make you see my side, or do things my way.  The only perfect way for you to give birth is your way.  I will give you information to find your way and then stay by your side on your journey. Think of me as your travel guide for birth.

So, on my journey to find out what kind of doula I am, I discovered that I am a bit of a nerd.  I geek out learning about this amazing process and how to support women and their families through it.  I am sure I have frightened a few potential clients away after getting too excited and sharing a little bit of TMI about birth at an interview.  So, let’s get this out of the way now: I love birth.  It is amazing, it is powerful and wonderful and miraculous.  It is also a minefield of choices, options, opinions and misinformation.   Wading through all the information is very difficult to do alone.  If you are looking for support, are up to learning about it, what your options are and discovering what your preferences are, give me a call, and we can talk birth!