MBC Announces Fall 2018 Doula Internship

The Minnesota Birth Center is now accepting applications for its next Doula Internship session, which will run from September 2018 – May 2019.

Qualified doula candidates must:

  • Have completed a workshop for certification through DONA, CAPPA, or other reputable certifying body;
  • Practice within the DONA Scope of Practice;
  • Have attended at least one birth in a support capacity;
  • Be available to attend a total of at least six MBC births for the duration of the internship.

doulasupport

Application materials and information on how to apply are located here: Doula Internship Requirements and ApplicationComplete applications will be accepted no later than 6 pm on Friday, August 31st.

Qualified applicants will contacted for interviews.

For more information email karen@theminnesotabirthcenter.com.

Celebrating my postpartum body

In our culture, we learn at a young age to criticize our bodies. As a young girl, teenager, young adult, and now new mom, I have felt the weight of not feeling “good enough”. Thankfully through life experiences and surrounding myself with encouraging, uplifting, and powerful women, I can honestly say I am free. Not free of the periodic compulsion to critique my body; that may never go away. I am free in the sense that my mind will intercept these negative thoughts and remind myself of the miracle that is my body.

I don’t think I fully appreciated my body until I gave birth to my son Winston.  Prior to pregnancy, I saw my body as an object that needed to look perfect at all times.  At the time, I didn’t even consciously realize that I was objectifying myself. Reflecting back to that phase of my life makes my heart break for believing something so superficial of myself; for believing that my worth depended on my appearance and a skewed and narrow definition of beauty.  I feel so grateful and relieved that these thoughts are no longer my reality.

All the changes that my body went through to perfectly grow and deliver another human into this world astounds me still to this day.  Every single change my body went through had a beautiful, divine purpose. All the stigmatized changes that some women’s bodies go through to grow another human life truly are beautiful and meaningful.  My stretch marks and diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles) are physical evidence that the skin on my abdomen stretched and conformed to accommodate my 8 pound 12-ounce baby. The stretch marks on my breasts are physical evidence that my skin stretched to adapt to the new glandular tissue that allowed me to breastfeed my baby.  My body will never be the same as it was before pregnancy and I am proud of that. From the time of conception, our bodies have constantly been growing, stretching, and evolving. Fellow mamas, be proud of all of the beautiful reminders of just how truly amazing, strong and adaptable your body is. You are more than enough, just exactly as you are.  Everyday I choose to celebrate my miraculous body and I hope you do too.

Brittany Geisen is a photographer and MBC Birth Assistant with a passion for helping women to realize the strength and beauty of their own bodies. 

A Doula for Dieula – Reflections from Haiti

Hello!

Rachel Lamb here, MBC Birth Assistant and Clinic Nurse, writing from beautiful Haiti. I have the pleasure to be back at Heartline Maternity Center in Port-au-Prince for a couple of weeks, and I wanted to share a sweet story with you all and let you peek into the life here (pictures shared with permission, always.)

Last week a woman named Dieula was in labor at the maternity center. In Haiti it is very rare for men to be involved in childbirth. It is different from the births at the Minnesota Birth Center in that regard. The women will choose one friend or family member to come with them in labor, usually a female. Often that support person stays out of the room, or will come in for part of labor and then go out at time of birth. This specific mama had an amazing younger sister along. This sister did all the things a doula would do: she offered counter pressure on her back, walked with her, swayed with her, walked the stairs and lifted her legs when Dieula was too tired, went on food runs, offered water, updated family members, and on and on. This sister seemed like someone who’s had much experience assisting with childbirth. I asked her if she’s helped many other women and she said she hadn’t but had only seen others in labor. She also has not had children of her own yet.

The relationship she shared with her sister was incredible and so sweet to watch. I explained that in English we would call her a doula- someone who provides comfort and assistance to the mom in labor. I told her she is a doula for Dieula: a needed gift of love and courage in the midst of difficulty.

The labor ended in an emergency – a stubborn stuck baby shoulder – that required quick thinking and acting on the part of the medical staff. It was scary at moments but this young doula stayed calm and by her sister’s side. All ended well for this mom and baby, which proved even more so how needed this little birth center is in Haiti. If she had delivered at home, like so many Haitian moms do, it would not have been a happy ending.

A few days later, after recuperating in the postpartum room and establishing breastfeeding, we were able to drive Dieula and her baby girl home. The sister doula met us on the road and walked with us to their house where she welcomed mom and baby. We will see them again at Heartline every Tuesday for the next six months, where Dieula will gain knowledge from and enjoy community with other new moms.

Another mom and baby safely home.

Another mom and baby kept together.

Another mom and baby who are part of the changing childbirth statistics in Haiti.

Rachel Lamb is an MBC Clinic Nurse and Birth Assistant with a heart for Haiti. Follow Heartline on Facebook here.