doula spotlight

hi good peoples!

this post is part of an {hopefully} ongoing series called the doula spotlight. my goal is to interview doulas around the country to highlight some of the good things birth workers are doing for our birthing mothers. each week we’ll be answering 3 different questions about doula life. i’m really excited to start this series and share the wisdom of these women with you.

Henry birthday

i’m very excited to host this next lovely woman on the doula spotlight. She’s been an invaluable resource, support, and friend to me since i just showed up in columbus and knew i wanted to do this but didn’t know quite how i was going to get there. Jenna Wojdacz has been supporting Columbus parents for 12 years and she’s been supporting me as a doula mentor for 3. She also serves as a reproductive health educator for Columbus area schools. She’s a pro at hosting get-togethers and makes a mean curry. I give you Jenna’s doula wisdom:

 1. how long have you been a doula and what led you down this path?

When I was pregnant in 1996, I made the decision to have a homebirth, with no knowledge of how that might happen, not knowing anyone who had ever birthed at home. It just seemed right to me – the approach at the midwifery practice was so different from an OB. That experience planted a seed of awareness in me, about the way birth is treated in our society, and about how different that could be. In 2001 I attended a doula training class and began attending births immediately.
2. in which different settings have you supported births? how does your role change in different birth settings? 
I have had the privilege of attending births in both hospitals and homes. I have been there as a baby surprised us by being born with startling rapidity in a backyard; I have been there, behind scrubs and a surgical mask, for a planned surgical delivery. My fundamental role does not change – to serve this woman, and by extension, the other people she has chosen to include in her birthing – but how I am able to execute that service is definitely impacted by the location. More medical interventions = more restrictions on a woman’s actions and behaviors. it’s just a fact. That does not make doula support less important in interventive situations, just different, in some ways more challenging.
 
3. do you help mommas/couples prepare for labor?

Honestly, it is the preparation that is my favorite part. Though there is no way to know exactly what sort of cards a birth is going to deal, so much good work can be done in hours and hours of conversation about a woman’s (and her partner’s, if applicable) thoughts and hopes and concerns. I love the process of watching people settle in to the idea of parenting, which starts before birth. Watching the growing awareness that they are the experts, that this is their own work, that only they can do. There is specific preparation about hospital policies and labor management techniques and pushing strategies and newborn triage, but it is the mental settling in that is, to me, the really important, transformative work. 

I’d like to thank Jenna for sharing on the doula spotlight and for supporting me over the years. Both mean a lot to me.

HEY YOU! are you a doula? would you like to contribute to the doula spotlight? send an info request to heymomjeanz {at} gmail {dot} com. thanks!

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new doula t-shirt and homebirth onesie!

hey y’all.

so what i do when i stay up late at night is write blog posts and design birth t-shirts. here’s a blog post about new t-shirts! {i’m really good at multi-tasking}

so, what we have here is a nice little organic homebirth inspired onesie for your lovely little lassie. she would look darling in this number at your monthly birth circle meeting, dontcha think? {there’s also one in blue if you have a homebirth homeboy}

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and next we have a Need a Doula? t-shirt in athletic grey, inspired by how athletic the last birth i supported turned out. i got a full upper body work out. you try doing a hip-squeeze on a momma for a couple hours and tell me it’s not a phenomenal feat of upper body strength ;-)

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and of course there are lots of other styles over on the website. i’m favoring tanks during these warm days when walking through farmer’s markets and festivals are sparking some good birthcentric conversations.

doula-do: new informational support sessions via skype

i wanted to use this platform to flush out a new service i’ll be offering. you know that feeling you have when you’ve thought of a really good idea but you don’t know if it will actually work? that’s me right now. but i think i just heard someone whisper “if you build it, they will come.” so i’m going for it. oh, wait. that was just my neighbors’ lawnmower. here goes anyway!

since starting the birthwork trail i’ve happily been a resource for a few friends for prep & planning of their own journey into parenthood. i’d like to pat my own back and smugly say that i think i played a small part of positive birth experiences for a few people. smuggy humor aside, helping folks whenever and wherever is what i’m hoping to do with this birthy brain bank up there.

so what’s a doula to do when she’s got friends across the globe with buns in the oven? skype. the answer to all time/space conundrums.

i will now be offering informational sessions over skype to help you prepare, plan & celebrate the birth of your child. for a nominal fee you’ll get a series of 2-hour sessions with me to flush out all things pregnancy related. in short, you’ll basically be getting prenatal doula support even if distance doesn’t allow me to be at your birth with you.

this is perfect for any stage of your pregnancy! i feel it would be especially helpful in the beginning phase when there is a little bit of that “so we’re pregnant! now what?” going on. i will also provide email information back-up to guide you towards good resources.

is this a good idea? yes? if you think so, please feel free to send my info to anyone you know that is expecting even if they are not sure they’re going to need doula care or not. I have included info about the sessions over at columbus birth arts under the birth work section.

so who wants to be first in line? wish me luck.

waiting on a baby; birth doula style

i’ve been waiting patiently for that phone call. my client has been having her warm-up contractions for several days now. she’s well within her due month so, yes, it’s just a fun waiting game for baby and momma’s body to know what time is the right time.

i rightly declined a trip to indiana for an important family event and have been waiting to spring into action these past few days. i tried going to bed early in anticipation of getting up in the middle of the night. no call. i tried going to bed late thinking that it’s because i was going to bed too early and the universe wanted to catch me off guard. because clearly this is all about me here, right?

no call.

since neither of those tactics have worked so i’m just taking the time to mediate on my gratefulness that the momma is being a champ and patiently waiting through each of these warm-up episodes, trusting in her body and baby.

this is what i signed up for. i wouldn’t have it any other way, except that i’m really hoping my life path takes me closer to my family so i could be there for both my family and my clients. yes, i said it indiana folks. i put it out into the universe. i’m hoping someday i will be a HOOSIER again and help you all birth your babies. HOOSIER DOULA? {seriously indiana friends – who’s your doula?}

well, i haven’t tried going to bed in the afternoon yet so i think i’ll do that and see if that works. g’night!

ps. it’s fun watching me figure all this “doula stuff” out, isn’t it?

not yo’ cheese, my nacho cheese

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i love postpartum visits! I have lucked out thus far and had really, really awesome clients.

i got to hold and cuddle a little baby this morning and at the end they gave me 6 pounds of nacho cheese as a thank you. SCORE!

i had shared with the couple that the only really craving i had during my pregnancy with darla was for fake nacho cheese product {other than the last few weeks when i had to have brown sugar poptarts with butter on the back every morning. so tasty}. nacho cheese product remains my achilles heel to this day. i love it. and now i can put it on everything!!!!

 i really can. did you see that? 0 grams of fat per serving.

i LOVE birth work.