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Last month was my first feature on doulas of the Central Valley, and I’m so glad I wrote it and excited to continue on! I had several people comment on the blog and message me directly, some sharing that they had heard the term but until the blog were unsure what it mean. So, to recap, a doula is a person who is trained to provide support to the mother to be, and not just during labor! This includes pre and post natal. A much better description, according to DONA International, a doula is “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.” The idea or role of a doula has been around since prehistoric times. The word ‘doula’ itself has Greek origins, and is thought to be used as early as the time of Aristotle. The word means ‘servant woman’ or woman who serve.
As you can see from this image, there are a lot of advantages to having a doula! From shorter labors, decreased change of c-sections, to reduction of pitocin use and more! So now that we are all caught up, let me introduce you to our December Doula of the Month, Bethany Chavez! You can follow her at bethanybirthservices on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. She also has a Youtube Channel.
Bethany is a Certified Doula Birthkeeper (CD), Certified Placenta Preparation Specialist (CPPS), has trained through DONA and APPA and certified through HERBAL, among many other certifications (see the list here!) Pulling straight from her website, a Birthkeeper is “a keeper of the sacred wisdom surrounding physiological birth; a servant to women in childbearing years. In my own words, a birthkeeper is knowledgable about everything surrounding birth, teaching one how to tap into their instinctual-prime being and believes that birth is a natural part of life. Birthkeepers may wear many different hats: doula, nurse, midwife, lactation consultant, placenta specialist, birth advocate, and more.”. She has attended 7 human births, and about that many animal births as well!
Why did you become a doula? Growing up I was fortunate to witness birth at a young age. My dogs had babies together and she gave birth at home, unassisted with me, my sister, and my mom to doula her. Then at 15, I supported my sister through her teen pregnancy before, during, and after birth. This career path really chose me!
Do you attend all hospital/home births? Are you on call for births?On average, how many clients do you have space for in any given month? I attend all hospital, birth center, and home births. Being a birth doula does require an on-call window. 2-3 births per month is ideal.
Do you offer any postpartum doula services? “Yes, I do offer postpartum services (doula and placenta encapsulation).” Bethany goes into detail regarding Placenta encapsulation on her website, Bethany Birth Services, and blog, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions- click here to read more!) Placenta Encapsulation Specialists provide placenta preparation services (encapsulation, cord keepsakes, prints, tinctures, etc.) through safe techniques to promote healthy postpartum experiences for mothers.
How would you describe your doula “style”? I take pride in a harmonious and intuitive “doula style”. I’m a lifetime Evidence Based Birth pro member, allowing access to current evidence-based birth information. I seek much guidance from my spiritual and cultural side, I’m also an empath, giving me the ability to guide others to their intuitive birth side. I connect to those who’ve experienced pregnancy loss and sexual harassment as I’ve also grew stronger from those personal experiences myself.
What is 1 thing you wish your clients would know? I want my clients to know how deeply I care for them! I go above and beyond for my clients.
Bethany provides services to the following areas: Fresno, Clovis, Madera, Oakhurst, Selma, Kingsburg, Visalia, Tulare, Hanford, Porterville, Chowchilla, Los Banos, Merced, and surrounding areas.
Please be sure to follow Bethany for more updates and check out her blog and Youtube Channel! Links below.
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