Happy New Year 2018, dear moms and colleagues!
I know, you have not heard from me for a while but it doesn’t mean that I have abandoned my blog or doula profession. Quite the contrary! I have been extremely busy with my two little kids and continuously consulted women as well as upgraded my knowledge and professional skills. Those who follow me on Instagram know a little bit about my progress. For the rest, here is a summary of my achievements for the last year:
In April 2017 I completed an introductory course “Shiatsu in pregnancy, birth and postpartum”. Through this I gained new knowledge and skills to better support women in pregnancy and birth. If you would like to know what is shiatsu and how it can help in pregnancy and birth, please, read here.
In May 2017 I attended a series of webinars “Between us girls” about the health of female intimate muscles and postpartum recovery given by the director of the Professional Doulas Association in Russia, Ekaterina Mariposa.
Did you know that there are lots of myths about the physiology of our intimate muscles and how to train them? The market is full of products that may harm us or give us a wrong impression about our capacities. Even birth preparation courses frequently give women incorrect instructions about how to do their Kegels. Did you know that 1 year after giving birth 70% of women still have a backache? And 1.5 years after birth, 60% of women have urinary incontinence and 24% experience pain during penetration? Did you know that due to hormonal instability many women can’t completely recover postpartum until they stop breastfeeding? Some can’t recover from birth for years, thinking that their problems are normal or not knowing how to help themselves. Since women don’t talk about it, very few people understand how serious postpartum changes are for a new mother and how young mothers are harming themselves trying to match the very high and unrealistic expectations of our ignorant society. At the webinars “Between us girls”, I learnt about practical ways to help my clients recover after birth and also how to prevent so called “female problems”.
In August 2017 I finally was certified as a professional birth doula. Although I had completed the requirements for certification practice in November 2016, I needed some time to finish working on the theoretical certification tasks that included a detailed overview of three books and a plan for developing my doula practice in the near future. The certificate was issued by the Perinatal Support Institute in Russia, an organization that is part of European doula network and whose program meets the standards of European doula education.
Last year I also consulted several women online. You can find some of their testimonials here. Women have been coming over to me though I have not been actively looking for clients as I attempt to spend more time with my children and focus on my current studies.
Since June 2017 I have been attending Ecstatic Birth Practitioner Training with the amazing Sheila Kamara Hay. At this training, which will be completed in March 2018, I keep learning new aspects of sexuality and pleasure in birth while listening to different speakers who discuss their ideas with dear colleagues, in addition to trying out different body practices that I hope to teach my clients in the future.
It is truly great training for those midwives and doulas that just like me believe that the majority of births can be naturally ecstatic and joyful in the process, and that birth can become an event women remember with enjoyment and anticipate with excitement. However, for this to be possible, there needs to be a change in the modern health care system and education. This training provides tips and practices that help practitioners provide better support for those clients who desire to experience ecstatic birth and it inspires people to find new professional solutions collectively. It has inspired me to start a new exciting project that you will learn about a little bit later this year. Stay tuned!