Birth With Spirit Doulas are amazing human beings. We are honored to introduce you to one of our stellar doulas, Jess Fecke! 1) What made you want to become a doula? When I was pregnant I watched The Business of Being Born and my mind was blown. I had no idea about birthing or breastfeeding or anything. But I knew how I felt about the medical industry and had always been proactive in educating myself when it came to my health.
Fast forward some years later, and I found myself working as a breastfeeding peer and hearing all sorts of stories about people's births that were very, very different from my own. Disempowering, passively uninformed, or actively misinformed. birthing folks feeling like they had been swept away by the opinions and habits of others. Not knowing they had every right to take their soulful wombyn power into the incredible transformative fire of the birthing room. At very least, they were entitled to giving informed consent to their care.
Long story short—I saw a need and I have the information and capability for holding space so my clients can find what empowers them. It will be different for every single person!
2) How many births have you attended? Four, including when I was born and when I birthed my daughter.
3) What is your favorite thing about being a doula? The opportunity to see other birthing people find their power. I’ve seen in over and over as a breastfeeding professional. They are sparked to share with others and it’s a beautiful ripple effect.
4) What is one of the most challenging things for you about being a doula? The most challenging thing about being a doula so far would be seeing such a high need for the at-risk population, but there not being a system in place to help.
5) What is the longest birth you have attended? 9 hours
6) What is your favorite book on any doula-related subject you have read? One of my favorite books in general is Introduction to Tantra by Yeshe. It’s about non-grasping and releasing that which no longer serves us. It has helped me in every aspect of my life. Changed my learned paradigm and now I suffer less.
Another amazing book I love is called Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding by a woman I admire very much, Linda Smith.
7) What is one of your biggest “ah ha” moments about birth and/or being a doula? Whatever the mother/birthing person needs/wants, whenever she/they need(s) it. Doesn’t matter what you personally think—they know what’s best for them. Do it without question and you’ve done your part to assist the unfolding of the birth.
8) What do you always have in your bag when you go to a birth? Snacks (haha). Essential oil. A charged phone. 5 hour energy shot.
9) Do you have any suggestions on how to avoid burn-out? Confer and collaborate with other doulas. That’s how I have maintained as a breastfeeding peer. It can be really draining to help others transmute energy. Also, and this is a big one, have a strong support system. Good friends and partners who will feed you yummy food and know how to take care of you when you’re needing to recharge.
10) What advice do you have for doulas-in-training or new doulas? Build your community. Learn to love research! Build physical endurance with some sort of exercise—yoga has helped my back SO MUCH.