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  • Writer's pictureNutured Birth Ottawa

Celebrating a Decade of Doula Work: Reflections on My 10 Year Doula-versary

Pregnant woman who is also a doula with long hair stands beside a window showing belly. On the windowsill is a small statue of a buddha with his arms raised.

I recently reached an important milestone in my life that I cannot let pass by without acknowledging. January 13th marked my 10 year Doula-versary!

10 years ago, on that day, I supported my beautiful friend as she delivered her first baby at home. I was hugely pregnant with my second baby, who I would delivery 3 weeks later. Neither of us knew what a doula was. What I did know is how I was supported by my loved ones during my own birth, and I wanted to offer this same comfort to my beloved friend. I didn’t have a doula bag and I didn’t have any preconceived notion of how her birth should go. I had my hands and my heart, and that was enough. Entering the birthing space with a beginner mind (although I grew up the daughter of a midwife and had witnessed many births I had never showed up in a support role), and I learned so incredibly much. Once her baby was in her arms, the midwife asked my friend “how long has your friend been a doula?” And my life was changed. 10 years later I am now co-own a business with this same friend, my incredible birth and business partner, Michele!

It’s no small task to stay in the doula business for 10 years. In fact, most doula careers do not make it past 2 years. When you consider being away from your own children, endless hours of driving, being on call for weeks at a time, missing birthdays and Christmases, and many … MANY all nighters, it’s no small wonder that doula careers tend to be so short lived.

I give all the credit for me making it this far to my incredible support team - My partner who carries the weight of me being gone for days a time, my children with their endless patience for me rescheduling or not being there when they wake up, my incredible business partner who listens to me talk about birth NON STOP, our wonderful team for having my back (and backup!), and, most importantly, my selfless and incredibly supportive mother who knows first hand the magic of birth and supported me through the very beginnings of my doula journey and throughout doula-ing as a single mom!

Birth takes a village. And because of MY village I have been able to experience 10 years of building relationships bound by birth, of sharing hopes and dreams and fears surrounding pregnancy, birth and postpartum. 10 years of hip squeezes, whispered words of support, and shedding tears along with my clients during the good and the challenging moments of birth. I am humbled to have sat at the feet of birth for these past 10 years, and so excited for the years to come.

This post was written by Ottawa Doula, and Ottawa Prenatal Nutritionist, Julia Davie. Her approach to birth work is heart centered, holistic and inclusive. She is honored to support families in Ottawa, Gatineau, and the surrounding areas.

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