Birth work; is more than empowering birthing people
Birth work comes in many forms. Midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, placenta specialists, body workers and healers.
We all perform a great service for our communities, and for ourselves and our families, through sustainable businesses.
But what about the deeper and more profound effects this 'genre' of vocation has, on society, our children, women, and birthing people.
When a midwife supports a person's autonomy, and their birth is better than previously, this is obvious. A beautiful, much needed change.
But what about the glorious effects Midwifery as a profession, has for people's futures?
Would you believe Midwifery changes entire neighborhoods and entire generations?
Doulas - I cant say enough about- invaluable, unwaivering, stronger and softer than you can imagine (like hugging a lion)
Preventing first time cesareans and showing us the strength and autonomy we've forgotten.
But would you believe that doula work changes lives far beyond the labor unit or the birthtub?
I'm talking about important, vital changes for your grandchildren and mine. Lifting people out of poverty, offering women and minorities, people without means and access, a chance at long term success.
I'm talking about maternity care deserts, and long waiting lists- being a thing of the past, and lactation support for people in inaccessible places.
I'm not going to sugar coat, or share pipe dreams.
But this is the reality and the potential.
Midwifery for me, started with my first homebirth. I knew I wanted to do this work- but with so many kids and a modest income, how could I ever begin, let alone- FINISH.
I started with doula training. And here is where doula work literally changed my life.
Doula trainings are accessable to most people. The cost of training and starting a business can be less than $500!
What does this mean for someone who cant afford college? Or someone who has young children but needs to create more income for her family?
All doula trainings are different, which is a good thing! Different costs, different requirements, different beliefs. People can come from every angle, every personality, with every goal, and find a training that fits them.
This opens doors for those who cant afford, in time, or finances, to begin a career with immense possibilities for growth.
Doulas can make great money if they need to. Or simply offer themselves as community doulas, serving underprivileged families, families who need doula care the most!
One community doula, can help one woman -who may not have otherwise- change her entire life. Starting with breastfeeding support.
(For mother and baby, we know this nursing relationship creates better connections, more emotional security, better long term health)
Imagine a single woman, or a family with modest income, living in a city neighborhood that has one accessable hospital. State insurance, and clinic care, leaves mom with bottom of the ladder resources, a mix of providers, and statistics, all working against her, it is clear that she might end up with an unnecessary cesarean- or worse if shes a woman of color.
After her baby is born, and she is sent home, nursing becomes difficult. This is common. Normal even.
Without resources and support, we know most short term breastfeeding relationships will end here.
Fortunately, she sees a business card on the board at the grocery store.
"Doula- labor, birth, and breastfeeding support"
One text changes everything.
The doula who places her card here is from the neighborhood. She is happy to visit this woman for a free consult, and help her find ways to make breastfeeding work!
Here is where things become legacy.
She might offer this same woman, information on the training program she used herself, which offers partial scholarships to women who need it most.
This woman can go on to create a business, and serve families in her community, serve her family's financial needs, and create a better birth future, economic future, for her own kids through example.
(And yes, you can make good money serving low income families)
Because one community doula was able to come to her side, and help her to nurse her new baby, this women was set on a road to succeed, her baby on the path to better health, and potentially a brighter future.
Today, college is obscenely expensive. And technical schools are not giving much hope when graduates come out making a few dollars more than minimum wage.
Seems as though, to afford living comfortably, you need to accumulate 100k in debt.
Birth work is changing that.
People have access to knowledge and training that doesnt cost your life or soul or 60k. But with the potential to make comfortable income.
This is huge!
Imagine an educational model- where we can teach people to make money without it costing everything.
A system in which we can get paid for services with the knowledge we carry. And have enough, (enough freedom, energy, money, and space) to give back to our communities.
This is almost a guarantee to increase overall productivity for future generations.
But the next revolution is another subject.
Midwifery is even more badass.
Homebirth midwives can change a family's entire life path, simply through continuity and good healthcare. Women make better birth choices, have more breastfeeding success, more long term support, creating better bonds, better parenting experiences, better long term deep rooted success, and a path that their own children might follow, extending the ramifications far beyond one generation.
Did you ever hear an elder Midwife describe her journey? Or a homebirth mom say 'my parents and their parents had home births.
Generations. Or a community of homebirth women come to the aide of another?
This is epic!
Midwives can change entire neighborhoods simply by opening the doors to a monthly free prenatal clinic or childbirth classes, parenting classes and family planning resources.
Imagine if more women in high risk areas, knew about their bodies, their babies, and their births.
Do you think we'd see lower intervention and cesarean rates?
Or women in these areas, with a place to reach out to when the postpartum period is overwhelming- would we see less postpartum depression, and hereby, better overall mental health for mother, baby, and family?
People who are afraid to recieve care, or are waiting on long lists simply for prenatal appts, can be seen by a provider.
Underserved or underprivileged?
Some women with no insurance or crappy insurance, wait until 20+ weeks before the only office in the area can see them.
Midwifery clinics can change that.
And they are happening!
And one midwife can teach another, without access or means, to do the same, through apprenticeship.
We can come up and out of poverty by being offered an affordable education, that in itself, will change the future.
How is that for a legacy?
Please, support your local birth workers by sharing their events, or their advertisements. Meet your midwives. Consider taking a training course.
Join a mothers group.
The echo is going to be heard so far into the future.