The Holistic Birth Podcast

Meet the Doulas: Allison and Brigitte

April 30, 2023 Holistic Birth & Beyond Season 1 Episode 1
Meet the Doulas: Allison and Brigitte
The Holistic Birth Podcast
More Info
The Holistic Birth Podcast
Meet the Doulas: Allison and Brigitte
Apr 30, 2023 Season 1 Episode 1
Holistic Birth & Beyond

Welcome to the first episode! Allison and Brigitte talk about how they got into birthwork, how they met and what their intentions are for the podcast! 

Resources Mentioned:

Guide to out of Hospital Birth use code PODCAST20 for 20% off!

Free downloads:

Holistic Birth & Beyond Freebies

Holistic Birth & Beyond’s Spotify

Into the Labyrinth Birth Freebies


Looking for more? Check us out on Youtube & visit the blog for show notes and transcript

Connect:

Holistic Birth and Beyond, LLC

Into the Labyrinth Birth Services

Allison- Instagram & Facebook

Brigitte- Instagram & Facebook




Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the first episode! Allison and Brigitte talk about how they got into birthwork, how they met and what their intentions are for the podcast! 

Resources Mentioned:

Guide to out of Hospital Birth use code PODCAST20 for 20% off!

Free downloads:

Holistic Birth & Beyond Freebies

Holistic Birth & Beyond’s Spotify

Into the Labyrinth Birth Freebies


Looking for more? Check us out on Youtube & visit the blog for show notes and transcript

Connect:

Holistic Birth and Beyond, LLC

Into the Labyrinth Birth Services

Allison- Instagram & Facebook

Brigitte- Instagram & Facebook




Allison: Welcome to The Holistic Birth Podcast, episode one! We are going to talk a little bit about ourselves to give you an idea of who these hosts are, to help you learn about how we got into becoming doulas and what the purpose of the podcast is & the intention of what we are hoping to do here.

Brigitte: We're super excited that you're here. We're just hoping that this podcast really helps you on your birthing year, so lots of information to share. So Allison, tell us about how you got to birth work?

A: Well I have a very fertile family, so growing up I had a lot of pregnant people and postpartum people around me and a lot of babies. My great-grandfather lived with us for the first 14 years of my life until he passed, so while it was on the flip side of life, I learned a lot of about respecting someone's vulnerabilities, embracing that and honoring that. Also I learned how to protect someone's autonomy, and their right to informed choice. Then I somehow got on the birth worker path, and I bought a textbook for midwives in middle school thinking I was going to make flash cards or something with that. I did not! In 2017 is when I took my training.

B: Is there a reason why you chose to be a doula over a midwife? 

A: Yes and actually, I was in nursing school on my way to becoming a midwife. I was in a very college prep high school and it was very much focused around four-year degrees and getting the most education that you could take on for whatever path you want to walk. They had guided me in the direction of becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife. The first step with that is nursing school, so I was enrolled in a nursing program. I was maybe two nursing rotations away from the associates nursing degree and I had done all the other prerequisites and everything and I just felt like it wasn't for me. I felt like the relationship and the connection and the freedom you can have with that relationship where you are taking time with people, to me is very important. There's a lot of pressure on medical professionals to check off the boxes, document and cover their butts with liability and stuff. I just felt like that side of it was not interesting to me, so I took my training while I was still in nursing school and I was trying to explore. Maybe I'll be a midwife someday! Maybe like a CPM or something but doula work really resonated with the kind of relationship you can build with your clients.

The first birth I saw in person was during a maternity internship over in India. That was amazing. It was so cool because it was my first day there and I just stood in the doorway and got to just watch. Everyone was so calm and supportive and kind of just let her do their thing. For me, it was just great to see while doulas do a lot of things, we also can do a lot by just being present and I think that taught me a lot too.

B: How has birth word changed your life?

A: Oh boy. I feel like it's given me a place to be able to try to be the best version of myself that I can be which is usually to embrace vulnerabilities and all that. I’m a very emotionally available!

B: You are, you're amazing!

A: Thanks! I think like I try to be empathetic and a good listener and very resourceful. I’ve been able to just be myself in birth work. There are some struggles with also running a business too but I feel like I’ve really found my rhythm with it. I got very busy as a solo doula so I expanded into an agency.

B: Yeah, tell us a little bit more about the agency and Wellness Village NH.

A: Sure! I expanded into an agency in 2021 and there are currently 32 contractors throughout NH & MA and we do virtual stuff as well. Basically my job is to help people find the perfect match in their doula. There are a lot of personality traits and skill sets. No doula is created the same way that another one is, same with each family. My job usually is to really get to know what people are looking for in their doula and then to play matchmaker and give them some suggestions. It's still very choice-centered; I just try to narrow down the search for them. We also have groups and classes, placenta encapsulation and other services.

Wellness Village NH is a collaborative I co-founded with my mom and sister, my mom does reiki and my sister does massage & marketing, amongst other things. We really felt that most people appreciate a one-stop shop for their wellness and like that multi-faceted approach. Being able to be in the space that allows for different modalities of support, for wellness and help the community feel a little bit more connected with other people but also with themselves.

B: You can have created an awesome community with support groups and all that stuff is really great. It’s been so welcoming and it's great. It's something so wonderful to be part of.

A: Thank you! I'm very grateful to do the work. And you're part of the agency– how did you get the doula work?

B: So for me, it started eight years ago when I had a miscarriage and I didn't really realize that it was going to lead me to birth work. Actually, it wasn't like it didn't cross my mind at all. It’s just one of those things that I just, you know, had this whole health journey and at first it was like my digestive system and figuring out food and things like that, and then it ended up being women's health. So again, figuring that all out. I'm still on it so it has not resolved completely but I’m still working on it and have learned so much about myself. But in the meantime, just discovering spiritual aspects of being a woman and just all the things surrounding that. I saw a lack of community in the women's world. I was seeing that especially in the birth community that there just wasn't a whole lot of sisterhood. I really kind of wanted to be a part of something like that. I know, of course, in the modern world, it's going to be a little different but I was really kind of hoping to link this back to life in a way. I took classes and got my training and I wasn't even sure if I was going to be okay seeing a birth live. The classes for that was super helpful.

A: It sounds like a specialty of yours is the spirituality and the connected, sisterhood kind of support. Are there other specialties or things that you feel really passionate about or things that you try to bring to the table as a doula?

B: Yes, I’m really passionate about herbalism, homeopathy and nutrition. Those are all things I'm really passionate about just because those are modalities or things that I use in my own health journey. Those are definitely things I'm really passionate about and really try to bring into my work if that's what people are interested in.

A: Do you imagine, in the next five years, what birth work will look like for you or how you might try to help make a little drop that would make some ripple effects in this area? What's your vision?

B: I just actually had this conversation with my partner. My dream is to have an actual community, like an eco-community or something like that in a place where families can come, women can give birth in a really beautiful building. There would also be houses where we can have red tents or women's groups and women's circles.I would love to have a birth center but it's more of a whole community center. That would be my lifelong dream but we'll see.

A: That’s great. How have you found doula work so far?

B: I love it. It's been really such a rewarding job and I'm learning so much from the people that I'm working with. Everybody is so different and what their needs are and their desires are, and it's just been such an awesome learning experience. It's like I'm growing with each person. I'm wanting to show up for my family differently being a doula. So, it's really changing my whole life, in that sense.

A: I think it's been about a year that we've known each other or so. It's great to see shifts in each other with different growth or things that you're kind of falling into. How the heck did we meet?

B: My first initial email was to you was me asking you, “hey, can I come shadow a birth?” And you were like, “oh here are these schools, we don't offer shadowing because it's a private and very vulnerable thing” which made a lot of sense to me at the time. I was like, yeah that really makes sense. Not everybody just wants Joe Schmo off the street to watch them give birth, right? I emailed you and I was like all right, cool and I thought that was super responsible of you to do that. You were so kind about it which was really great. You sent me a ton of resources which was awesome. I ended up taking training and four months later I bugged you again.

A: I loved it. I was happy to hear from you again and thought “this girl, she hits the ground running.”

B: So yeah, I sent you another email and Iactually wanted to meet with you in person for an interview and ask questions so we did that and then I bugged you again. I wanted to shadow and you're like, all right, let me see who I have that might be open to it. That first birth was a really great experience. Even though I went to the training, I still had imposter syndrome and I wondered if I'll be good enough. But just being there, witnessing that birth and even holding her hand through her labor was just great. It was awesome. So yeah, that's how we met!

A: Yes, and then I invited you to join the team and have just been reaching out to you ever since with anyone who might be a good fit.

B: Then we did our course together. We spent a couple months together doing that. The course is Guide to Out-of-Hospital Birth. That’s a really good one.

A: The course content will really resonate with a lot of people. We were finding not a lot of birth classes are inclusive of out-of-hospital birth, even just with the language used. We include additional information like when the unexpected happens, for transfers or cesarean births or NICU stays. We had some really good conversation around hormones and the spiritual right of passage that birth can be, along with the stages of labor. Our course guide was honestly I think one of my favorite things.

B: It has lots of resources on there and we had extra bonuses. It's a really good course.

A: Let’s now share our intentions for the podcast. Why are we here? I think we have a lot of resources and experience coming out of our ears that we just want to do everything we can to help people feel like they can really embrace the power within and to be able to have the tools in their toolbox that is just overflowing with information and choices. And how to go with your intuition.

B: We have a lot and it's gonna be coming from an unbiased approach too. Whatever works for each individual is what's important to us. We want you to make the best decision based on whatever you feel is best for you. Of course, Allison and I have our own little specialties and things that we’re really passionate about, but we also really want to offer information surrounding everything.

A: Yes and just like there are so many different flavors of doula, there are different flavors of birth plans and choices. We'll talk about out of hospital birth, hospital birth, interventions, etc.

B: We'll have birth stories and we have a ton of guest speakers too as you go. We are going to have other doulas on here, midwives, naturopaths & nutritionists. We have a great set of episodes coming. We're super excited.

A: We will be releasing one episode a week and do a 10-episode season with a couple weeks in between for a break. We have different platforms that it'll be on. Having not only Spotify or iTunes but also the visual component on Youtube and Instagram. Plus we will have a blog too where it’ll all be transcribed for you.

B: We are so excited that you're here. Keep an eye out for us! We will definitely see you next week when we're going to talk about informed choice. Thanks so much for listening.